Silence and solitude are two key foundations for good mental health. But when you’re prone to anxious thoughts, it’s hard to feel comfortable in silence. Many of my clients tell me they actively avoid being alone in the quiet because they don’t want to be alone with their thoughts.
This is very easy to achieve with modern technology. We use media, busyness, and action to fill our time and our thoughts. Not to say that any of these things are bad or wrong. Only that mental health and wellness depend on having a rhythm that includes both busyness and stillness, noise and silence, togetherness and solitude.
Creating Silence and Solitude
I recently noticed that my life felt hectic and overfull. During the past week, I have engaged in intentional times of silence and solitude to refresh my soul.
This looks different for everyone. It’s not always possible or practical to take time away for a week long silent retreat. In my real life, I’ve discovered some small ways to create more space for silence and solitude in my daily rhythms. I have been waking up earlier to have time before everyone else in the house wakes up. I make time to walk or sit without music or media or books or anything else to give myself space to see what comes up.
As you schedule your day or week, make sure to keep space between tasks so you have time for this to become a regular practice. Back to back busyness can feel draining. Don’t underestimate the power of ten quiet minutes between tasks.
Where Do You Allow Space?
It’s a life-giving experience. Today as you are reading this, I would challenge you to examine your life and its rhythms. How much space do you allow for silence and solitude?