If there is one common thing I see among my clients – among all Americans really – is that we need more quiet in our lives.
Our lives are filled with noise. People and devices are constantly talking to us – and often at the same time. If we have a minute of downtime, we pull out our phones to scroll through social media or check email. We’re so used to noise that it can be uncomfortable to be in the quiet.
But we need quiet. BADLY. We need to stop and listen to ourselves think. To get back in touch with our true inner voice. That whispering in the back of our heart that keeps us on our authentic path.
Meditating is an awesome way to get more quiet in our lives. But I also know that it can be hard to find the time. And I hear a ton of people judge themselves for not meditation “perfectly” – i.e. they can’t sit still and empty their minds. (Side note – if this is you, there is no such thing as perfect meditation! Our brains are designed to think and we’re on overdrive all the time – you can’t be expected to sit down for 10 minutes and magically empty out your brain!).
I wanted to share five ways to get more quiet in your life that don’t involve mediation – or any extra time at all.
- Drive with the radio off. I do this about 50% of the time now, but it was WEIRD the first time I did it. I don’t think I’d ever sat in a car without music or talking of some kind. But it quickly became a respite for me and I think you will learn to love it as well. Same approach goes if you take public transport instead of driving. Practice just sitting there quietly.
- Take a walk without headphones. Unplug. Feel your feet hit the ground. Look at the flowers or the way the sun hits the snow. Listen to the birds. Notice what is happening around you and just be present.
- Eat a meal alone without looking at your phone, watching TV, etc. Really enjoy each bite of your food. Smell it, feel the texture, taste every morsel of flavor.
- Take a day without social media. Technically social media doesn’t always have actual, physical noise as we’re scrolling through, but it’s like noise in our brains. So take a day a week or each month and give yourself a break from social media. Pro tip: Delete the apps on your phone so you won’t be tempted. They only take a few minutes to reinstall!
- Choose your own quiet. What is something that you typically do with noise? Do you workout while listening to podcasts? Cook with music? Do the dishes with the TV on in the background? There is nothing wrong with any of these things, but try doing one of them in silence.
Most of these activities will be uncomfortable at first. Expect the discomfort. Embrace it. And you’ll soon learn to enjoy the quiet 🙂
Heather Whelpley is a coach and speaker that works with women to master doubt and imposter syndrome and own their brilliance. Learn more about her coaching services here.