Have you ever felt the need to clear your head? Does your life sometimes seem so full and noisy that you cant even hear yourself think? Sound can have a positive impact on our mental health but it can also be distracting and stressful, impacting on our performance, health and wellbeing. Having had a very busy week last week I decided to give my mind a reprieve over the weekend, clearing my head of all that had happened over the last week and putting me in a great place for the new week.
Enjoying the Silence
As someone who lives alone I will often have background noise on, the radio, tv, ipod as my weekend progresses. In fact I even have a variety of playlists for cleaning, exercising and that Sunday morning when you have time for a newspaper and a pot of tea! So as clearing my head was the focus this weekend, silence was golden for a change!
Then I put my phone on silent, I needed to be able to check it at times but I didn’t want to be forever responding to the ping of an email and the ding of a text. I even changed the venue of dinner with friends, we were going to a pub/diner but I suggested everyone came to me instead.
The third “noise” I am always conscious of is the chatter in my head. It can be critical, worried, excited. I knew that without the background noise that fills my weekend this would be more obvious so I set myself the goal of acknowledging inner voices and then letting them go.
Clearing My Head
After 48 hours I was definitely calmer and I felt that the noises and experiences of the past week had been processed and filed away. The other benefits were much more astonishing though. Realizing how many positive and amazingly creative thoughts my brain comes up with every day. I have a list of things I could do for the business and a couple of great ideas for birthday presents. Getting more done, without the noise distraction I was more focused, even the cleaning took less time than normal (although I did miss dancing to my playlist!). Finally when I had my friends over for dinner I turned my attention to them and felt so much more connected. The dinner lasted well into the early morning and I think I know everyone who was there a little better now!
Clearing Your Head
So if you want to have a noise detox, here is what you can do:
1. Switch of all external noises, at home, in the car etc.
2. Put your phone on silent, you can still look at it (if you want) but silence those notifications that make you jump to attention.
3. Engage with the here and now – notice all the sounds you encounter during the day. It helps with minfulness and reduces negative self talk.
4. Listen, really listen to what people are saying to you.
You will be amazed what you hear !
For more information about Alison Burgess and Limitless for Life click here.