Shhhhhh……Finding Silence in our Crazy World

Recently, I was dragged kicking and screaming to Yellowstone State Park on a very impromptu mini-vacay. Why was I screaming you might ask? I had to ask myself that very same question, because nature is my happy place! After a long school year I should have eagerly embraced the opportunity to reconnect with nature, sunshine and silence. But my to-do list was long and filled to the brim with things to do, people to meet with and looming deadlines. I couldn’t see the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel”.

Fortunately, in spite of my reluctance, we made it happen. We dragged out the camping gear, bought enough food to feed an army, grabbed four of our grand kids and hit the road. Miles drifted by with music, chatter, and business being conducted over the cell phone. Then we entered the gates to Yellowstone and, as if by magic, cell phone reception disappeared! You might wonder if they planned it that way (no towers in the park) but whatever the reason, we had to pay attention to the here and now and not the “what if’s”. Social media, email and distant conversations disappeared. We had to connect with where we were and who we were with. And we began to notice the silence and the space that seemed to open up around us. The sound of a wolf howling and the rush of water in the river. The blue of the sky and the smell of the forest.

Photo by David Mark from Pixabay

I instinctively know that silence is good for me, but beyond my intuition there is science to back it up. Just a few of the benefits of spending even a few minutes a day in silence include lower blood pressure, a boost in our immune system, lower stress, regulation of hormones, growth of brain cells, and lower plaque in arteries. Now that is a pretty impressive list of benefits!

Unfortunately, noise pollution — constantly being surrounded by noise in your environment — can be harmful to adult health but even more so to the development of our children.

The World Health Organization reports:

“There is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population,” the report concludes, citing children as particularly vulnerable to the effects of chronic urban and suburban racket.

The report also confirmed what several psychologists have known for decades: Chronic noise impairs a child’s development and may have a lifelong effect on educational attainment and

overall health. Numerous studies now show that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills and have lower reading scores.

So as I was pulled away from my busy world, unplugged from the noise and clutter of technology, jobs and to-do lists, I felt my mind and body settle. I slept better, I had more energy, I felt happier and I laughed A LOT!

The sad thing is I almost had to be forced to take that break. Work had become an addiction, something that I craved, something that I couldn’t easily give up. Which, unfortunately, is the situation many of us face. Our to-do’s define us. We must cram as much as we can into the hours of our day and then look for way to add in one more task for the next day.


The good news is that we can, and it doesn’t have to be hundreds of miles away or for a week vacation. We can unplug right where we live. Is it easy? Of course not, but we can build in minutes of silence each day.

Here are some suggestions that, in the long run, will make you healthier and happier until you can make your escape to your happy quiet places!

o Make a plan each day to unplug from your phone. Research says that you will sleep better if you turn off televisions, computers and other devices — anything with a screen — at least 60 minutes before you go to bed. So you might be thinking…what do I do instead?

o Read a book either by yourself or out loud with the family

o Color, draw, write or journal

o Meditate

o Daydream

o Knit

o Scrapbook

o Yoga or gentle movement

o Before heading home after work, take a walk outside. If possible, find a park on the way and just stop for a walk — no music, no phone — just you and your feet.

o As you walk, notice the sounds that you hear.

o Notice the colors that you see.

o Notice the scents that you smell

o Notice where your thoughts go without judgment

o Make a quiet plan for the family.

o Give your time a fun name — “The Silent Zone” or “The Zip It Time”

o Set a time aside each day to just enjoy the quiet that comes with not talking or “doing”

o You could practice, body scanning, mindful breathing, or candle gazing. Go to for guided practices.

Improve your health and the health of your family before it is too late…Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!


More Recent Posts:

Helping children manage their moods

...and avoid the meltdown! Moods can strike just when you don’t want to expect them! You are at an event with family or friends and someone gets up to give a speech when your little person let’s out the loudest scream you’ve ever heard! Or you are at a church service...

Shhhhhh……Finding Silence in our Crazy World

Recently, I was dragged kicking and screaming to Yellowstone State Park on a very impromptu mini-vacay. Why was I screaming you might ask? I had to ask myself that very same question, because nature is my happy place! After a long school year I should have eagerly...

How Can Nature and Sunlight Help Manage Your Emotions

I am so lucky to live in the beautiful, sunny state of Colorado where outdoor time is cherished and it is often said that we have 360 days of sunshine! My most happy days are days when I am outdoors hiking, skiing, working in the garden or just taking time to sit on...

Take the hair-pulling out of bedtime.

Poses for a Good Night’s Sleep In our busy world, children often come home from a long day of school and after-school activities, gobble down dinner and plow through homework, jump in the bath and head off to bed, with parents hoping they are going to get enough sleep...

Hair Pulling or Joyous- You Decide

Hailpulling or Joyous- You Decide. by Holly Anthony Holidays are approaching so fast! Somehow, the year ramps up from 60mph normal to about 90mph around October, right? Maybe it's just our family. I've found a few things that help me mentally prepare for the onslaught...

Why would you want to be a kids yoga teacher?

Some of us are born to teach. I have been teaching something since I was 14 years old and probably even before that! I distinctly remember playing school and I always seemed to be the teacher in the games. I have taught gymnastic, library science, been a tutor for...

The Budget-Friendly Guide for Boosting Your Yoga Practice by Shelia Johnson

Yoga is a tool that can help us practice focusing on the present moment and letting go of anxiety about things we cannot change and fears out of our control. It can be an intensely physical, mental, and spiritual practice, but like any routine, it can also sometimes...

You can do better…..

By D.M.A ( a blog series for teens) Going back to school after break is something most people dread. You have to get up early and your free time just goes out the window. It might not feel like the most fun thing in the world – the work load, the assignments and...

13 Remarkable Health Benefits of Getting OutDoors by By Trip Outside

If you’re a self-professed homebody, you could seriously benefit from a change of scenery. Spending time in nature could improve your physical and mental health, ward off illness, and actually make you happier!  As the Father of Western Medicine, Hippocrates,...