That old saying that silence is golden, I now know holds more truth than I first realized. Sometimes words just don’t cut it when the feelings inside are overwhelming. Often its silence that leads the path to life’s answers. You ever had someone ask you “How do you feel?”, “Why are you sad?”, “Why aren’t you talking?” and wondered why you couldn’t find the words to accurately depict your feelings? Maybe it’s because you really didn’t know yet and haven’t taken the time for yourself to find out.
You don’t always have to have something to say- Sammy Davis Jr.
I stole this passage from Acts of Faith, by Iyanla Vanzant…I think she was on to something here when she said:
Every time we open our mouths we release a powerful energy. If we would learn to hold on to the energy, it could be used to nurture our dreams, heal our bodies and fuel our minds. But, we always have so much to say. Talking can take us off the track, knock us off our center and kill off our dreams when we speak mindlessly. Talking is something we must learn to use, not something we must always do. There is a power in silence that energizes the mind, body and soul. Think of the sun, moon and stars. They all appear silent and never fail at their job. There is wisdom in silence. Think of the mountains and trees. They never have anything to say, yet it takes great effort to bring them down. There is a love in silence. Think of the womb. Perfect timing, order and completion accomplished in total silence. Silence is an art a tool of the wise. When we perfect the art of silence, chances are we will get a lot more done.
When asked “What are some effective ways to deal with depression”, depending on the situation, I often offer silence or meditation as a solution. When asked “How do I stop fighting with my partner”, depending on the situation, I often offer silence or meditation as a solution. When asked “How do I deal with my low self-esteem”, … you get the point by now, I often offer silence as a solution.
Taking the time to listen to your inner voice to find out what is getting in the way of your improvement or growth often requires a journey into your own inner experience. The turmoil we reap onto our friends, family and co-workers is a reflection of our inner world.
Meditation as a Solution
The research on meditation is astounding. Taking time to yourself in silence is said to improve:
- Worry, anxiety and impulsivity
- Stress, fear loneliness and depression
- Enhance self-esteem and self-acceptance
- Improve resilience against pain and adversity
- Increase optimism, relaxation and awareness
- Prevents emotional eating and smoking
- Helps develop positive social connections
- Improves your mood and emotional intelligence
And imagine this. This is not even a quarter of the benefits of meditation. The benefits go on. Silence as it turns out, holding the words in till your ready, has a help benefit to it that is greater than some leading antidepressants on the market.
What is the price of your silence? Are you in a relationship with your constant verbalization of how you feel is a mandatory act of reassurance to your partner? Are you in a relationship with an emotional vampire? If so, take pause. Emotions can be tricky. Seek help when doing it alone doesn’t seem to work. Emotionally focused couples therapist are wizards at weaving the emotional tapestry of couples to bring both partners to a new understanding.
But, when therapy is not possible or even as an addition to therapy…give mutual silence a try in order to figure out what’s lurking in the inside.