Healthline: 8 Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Silence, Plus How to Get More of It

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Written by Sarah Garone.

 

Shhh… do you hear that? Or, rather, not hear that? It’s silence.

In our ever-noisy world full of background music, on-demand shows and podcasts, and airplanes flying overhead, many of us don’t experience a great deal of quiet.

And according to scientific evidence, that’s not such a great thing for our health.

Experts and research studies alike confirm that, especially in our loud world, time spent in silence can bring numerous health benefits.

Though an absence of sound may suggest emptiness, you may discover that dialing down the noise offers surprising fullness for body, mind, and spirit.

Here’s a look at some solid reasons to get quiet, plus real-world tips on how to do so.

Silence may help your health in several ways, including:

Silence could help lower blood pressure

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is often called the “silent” killer. That said, there’s something ironic about the fact that silence could actually help reduce blood pressure.

2006 study, Trusted Source found that a 2-minute period of silence after listening to music significantly reduced subjects’ heart rate and blood pressure. Even compared to slow, relaxing music, silence resulted in greater decreases in these important measures of heart health.

Older 2003 research associated a chronically noisy environment with increases in heart rate and blood pressure.

More research is needed to determine the long-term effects of silence on cardiovascular health, but these results are promising.

Silence may improve concentration and focus

There’s a reason why important exams aren’t conducted with music blaring in the background. Auditory stillness helps us focus.

Freed from the external stimulus of noise, our brains can better concentrate on the task at hand. This can have benefits for our work, education, relationships, and more.

In a 2021 study trusted Source, 59 participants performed tasks that required concentration, with either silence, speech, or other noise in the background. Those who worked in silence experienced the least cognitive load and the lowest stress levels.

“Focusing on one thing at a time with one’s full attention can help promote efficiency and calmness amidst activity,” explains clinical psychologist and mindfulness educator Supriya Blair, PsyD.

“Life happens in order. When we focus on one thing at a time, we are not scattered. Our attention and energy are aligned.”

 

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