Your brain gets a much needed boost from pure silence. Noise elevates your stress hormones. In moments of silence your brain is still doing all kinds of calculations, your brain never switches off. It needs silence to, let’s say, format all the issues, information, etc you are dealing with.
Silence has a better effect on the brain than listening to calming music.
Scientists have discovered that when mice are given the ‘silent treatment’, they form new cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with memory and learning. These cells then develop into functioning neurons.
It seems that during moments of silence the brain’s administrators go to work, and organize all the internal and external information it received into a ‘conscious workplace’.
It’s likely that silence is crucial to let your brain prioritize what it needs to do next, it will help you strategize better, and it will help you plan better.
The most effective year, William, one of the editors at PEP has ever had, was also his most silent year. He was living in a small apartment in a university town, with no pc, a mobile phone that didn’t function, and he hardly listened to music or radio, only in short breaks. There was no television either. Hard to imagine these days.
Today he’s surrounded by four screens, even in the shower, lots of sounds, and for the first time in his life he sometimes misses appointments, finds it harder to stick to a clear routine and falls asleep in the afternoon, which he never did before.
Time to return to silence!