Health & Wellness

Finding silence & stillness in your day

June 7, 2020
Finding silence & stillness in your day

Where do you find stillness? How often do you sit in silence? Over the past week in the Women Living Well After 50 Facebook Group we have put the focus on finding at least 5 minutes each day to find stillness, silence and a feeling of calm.

Our minds can become ‘busy’ even in isolation as we try to find ways to fill our day. The fill with the noise of daily life, social media, technology, traffic, calls from others wanting our attention. Noise pollution!

Do you make time just to sit quietly and clear your mind?

I’ve written before about the benefits of mindfulness for healthy ageing and provided resources of mindfulness activities.

Our mental health and well-being can be improved by just this simple act. Stress and anxiety are lowered as we bring our focus to the moment.

Sitting in silence with just the sound of your breath needs practice but there are several health benefits to incorporating some stillness in your life on a daily basis.

Health Benefits of Finding Silence and Stillness

Silence can relieve stress and tension. Noise pollution can raise our stress levels by releasing the stress hormone, cortisol. A report by the World Health Organization and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, released in April found:

A steady exposure to “noise pollution,” may lead to higher blood pressure and fatal heart attacks. The report analyzed a large number of epidemiological studies, most of which were conducted in Europe.

Silence can regenerate brain cells. A 2013 study on mice showed that two hours of silence daily led to the development of new cells in the hippocampus which is the area of the brain associated with learning, memory and emotion.

Stillness can bring mental clarity and allows us to hear our thoughts.

Finding silence & stillness in your day

Finding stillness in our day

Your daily focus is to find somewhere quiet and just be still for 5 minutes.

Finding stillness in your day

Karin Lawson, PsyD, a psychologist and clinical director of Embrace, suggests that stillness can be achieved anywhere, even on a busy street.

The key is to create an intention of stillness — to have some intentionality about how we’re carrying ourselves in a given moment — and to focus on what is within our control,

Karin Lawson, PsyD
  • You might want to watch the sun rise or set,
  • You might want to focus on nature,
  • You might have a special place that you can stop and appreciate the moment.
  • Find some where that you can be present, blocking out the noise. Breathing in the feeling of calm and exhaling the busy thoughts that are crowding your mind during the day.

Will you try it? Here is where I found my stillness this week:

Each Monday I’ll be posting an idea for us to focus on throughout the week. Something that will help us to be Women Living Well. Why not come and join the Women Living Well After 50 Facebook Community, I would love to see you there.

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23 Comments

  • Reply Retirement Reflections June 7, 2020 at 10:46

    Hi, Sue – I greatly appreciated you ‘stillness’ reminders this week. Surrounded by horrifying news, my mind was continually racing. Your reminders were very well needed – and truly made a positive difference. Thank you.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2020 at 08:15

      Hi Donna, I need those reminders too as life can become very busy. When you add in what is happening in the world at the moment we just need to step away for our own sanity. Have a beautiful day and I hope you can find some silence and stillness in your beautiful surroundings. xx

  • Reply suzanne June 7, 2020 at 22:53

    Sue, my favorite place to be ‘still’ is the beach. I took some time to go there yesterday and let the craziness of the world drift out with the waves. Thanks for the reminder that we don’t always need to join in the noise. Quiet is good.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2020 at 08:06

      My place is the beach too, Suzanne. There is something hypnotic about watching the ways that slows me down. Quiet is good – I love that! Have a lovely week. xx

  • Reply Toni Pike June 8, 2020 at 07:46

    I started meditating for the first time only a few months ago. Twice a day – it has been transformational. Toni x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2020 at 08:05

      Hi Toni, it can be a very powerful tool in our life can’t it? Glad you are enjoying your meditation moments. xx

  • Reply Deborah June 8, 2020 at 08:32

    Ah yes, I need to find some stillness. I often am only without stimulation when I lie down to go to sleep at night. Even my baths are only possible if I have a book to occupy me. If I don’t take a book in there it’s shorter and I play on my phone instead.

    I told myself recently I’d sit on my verandah in the evening – even for a minute or two – as the sun sets, as I have a lovely view, so I must make a point of doing that.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2020 at 10:31

      That is such a lovely way to end your day Deb. Relaxing and reflecting, love it! x

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee June 8, 2020 at 09:37

    David Malouf talks about this in his Quarterly essay and the important bit is the introspectiong the stillness or quiet allows. One of the first things I noticed in lockdown was the quiet of the lack of planes overhead. It was weird for awhile. Now I wonder what we’ll make of it if they return. #Lifethisweek

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2020 at 10:32

      Hi Lydia, I don’t actually hear the planes normally but isn’t is amazing how when we are quiet we notice what we are hearing and what is no longer there.

  • Reply Erica/Erika June 8, 2020 at 11:20

    Hi Sue, You make many great points in this article. It is interesting how “sitting in silence with just the sound of your breath needs practice.” You remind me, how many times I have caught myself ‘holding my breath.’

    You also remind me when I was working in a dental office, we were surrounded by many high pitched instruments and all sorts of noise. It definitely added to the stress levels, as you say “noise pollution.”

    I appreciate the phrase you use from Karin Lawson “…create an intention of stillness…”. I like all of your quotes. I especially like the compilation of where you found stillness this week. Thank you for your inspiration and sharing many gems. xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2020 at 10:35

      I hold my breath unconciously too Erica especially when I’m concentrating on something which isn’t a good thing. Sometimes even the smallest of noises can irritate me if I’m feeling stressed and ‘silence is golden’ is exactly that. I loved Karin’s phrase as well. Take care xx

  • Reply Vanessa June 8, 2020 at 13:22

    Stillness and I struggle with each other 🙂 I am finding my ‘thing’ for it slowly… very slowly!!

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au June 8, 2020 at 13:57

    I’ve been reading a book called Be.Do.Live and he mentions the fact that our brains never stop thinking these days – and that it’s not good for us. I’ve realized that my brain is “on” all the time and I need to learn to be more mindful and slow it down a bit. Learning to stop the hamster wheel in my head is going to be quite a challenge!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2020 at 10:36

      You know me, Leanne, my brain is constantly ‘on’ and I really need to focus to turn it off. After I have I feel so peaceful and relaxed. It does become easier to meditate, pray or be mindful and just needs practice. Have a lovely week and chat soon. xx

  • Reply Debbie Harris June 8, 2020 at 16:41

    I think stillness is a sadly underestimated benefit that many of us are missing out on Sue. I enjoyed your post and the quotes really back it up, especially the one about life in chaos around us and we don’t have to join in. That resonated with me big time. I think we’ve been ingrained that we need to be busy all the time but we forget we need to stop sometimes too! Great to read your words, thank you! #lifethisweek

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2020 at 10:37

      Me too, Deb. I used to think I was wonderful being able to multi-task and never sitting still. These days I’m older and wiser and understand the importance of stillness in our lives for health and spiritual benefits. xx

  • Reply Natalie June 10, 2020 at 06:25

    Hi Sue – Great reminders! I meditate every day and also find quiet time for myself when I go outside to a local park and by the lake. #lifethisweek

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2020 at 10:38

      I love being still in nature, Natalie it is just the perfect setting. Have a lovely week. xx

  • Reply Michele Somerville June 10, 2020 at 08:54

    Part of seeking stillness and silence for me has been a practice of unplugging from social media and emails one day a week. If I were really grown up I would not talk on the phone, but I have a “knee-jerk” reaction when my phone rings. I even have a few friends who are willing, and I am willing for them to hold me accountable for that practice. But it all went out the window with COVID-19, having to adjust to using technology for services etc. You and this post inspired me that it is time to return to the practice. So as of this week, I am returning to a weekly unplug day. Previously it was Mondays, but I have switched it to Thursdays so that I can be free to blog and participate in Seni-Sal on Mondays and prepare for #MLSTL and do the needed reading. So Thursdays will be my unplug day, starting June 11th. With the approach of warmer weather I try to spend time on my front porch every day too. It all helps. Blessings and thanks! Michele

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2020 at 10:52

      I love the idea of an unplug day and often try this myself – not always with success. The phone does have a pull doesn’t it? If I get a text I usually have to respond immediately. However, I’m learning to leave the phone in another room and try not to automatically respond. Good luck with your unplug days. xx

  • Reply Denyse Whelan June 10, 2020 at 16:30

    Wonderful post and in keeping with your goals to share your wellness ideas and plans for women after 50. I have learned to slow myself down. I can find stillness in walking these days instead of walking fast as I did for 67 years. I then can notice more too. I was walking somewhere only yesterday and glanced down to notice a perfect mandala in a flower surrounded by green. I now top and tail my day with Calm meditation practices which I have now done since 2018-19. Tamara Levitt is the narrator and practitioner and her voice alone makes peace easy!

    Thank you for linking up this week. I have changed my blog’s home page; right hand-side, to note the regular bloggers and blog names who link up for Life This Week. I am very grateful that you are one of those. See you next week when the optional prompt is Kindness. Take care, Denyse.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 14, 2020 at 15:48

      Thanks Denyse it is amazing what we miss when we rush around. A mindfulness walk can be so fulfilling and calming for the mind. Enjoy x

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