In light of the hustle and bustle of contemporary life, the noise of cities and the addiction to the sounds of smartphones and modern devices; Experts and researchers stress the importance of moments of calm and silence to rejuvenate and maintain mental and physical health.
In a report – published by the French newspaper ” Lefigaro ” – writer Senegalese Barbie says that the closure measures due to the spread of the new Corona virus enabled us to enjoy a calmer atmosphere, as noise levels decreased by 90% in some large cities, but made us more sensitive to noise. . Read also Boredom, insomnia and isolation… What do you know about the “hutch syndrome” that Corona introduced us into? Sadness, sleep and indifference.. Signs that Corona affects your mental health How to win your mental health during the Corona crisis?.. 7 exercises on optimism Important question: What happens to your mental health when you can’t pay rent?
In France, for example, a survey conducted by the Noise Information Center found that 57% of French people have become more sensitive to noise. Among the most annoying sounds, traffic ranked first with 49%, then neighborhood noise with 36%, and finally construction site noise with 8%.
According to a report published by the European Environment Agency in September 2020, noise causes an early death of 12,000 people annually due to long-term exposure to noise, and leads to 48,000 new cases of ischemic heart disease (transient ischemic attack, a disorder in brain function that usually persists). for less than an hour) every year in Europe.
A study – published in The Lancet in 2005 and included two thousand children in 90 schools close to 3 international airports (London, Madrid and Amsterdam) – showed that there is a close link between noise exposure and lower academic performance in terms of the ability to focus and recall information. .
“Hearing is always an active sense; Our sympathetic nervous system releases cortisol, the stress hormone, and releases it into our brains and bodies.
After suffering a sudden paralysis of the face in 2017, Le Van Koen supervised a scientific study that highlights the advantages of silence, which greatly helped him recover from paralysis.
The benefits of silence
“When I was forced into silence, I realized its benefits. It allows the brain to renew itself and restore its cognitive functions,” explains Le Van Koen, referring to several types of silence that are beneficial to the body and brain.
From his point of view, there is “acoustic silence” that frees us temporarily from noise pollution, “physical silence”, which is staying still without any movement, as well as “selective silence”, which is stopping the use of screens that tire our minds and distract our thinking.
Le Van Quen touched on the so-called “tree bath” (Shinrin yoko), an ancient Japanese custom that relies on recharging psychological and physical energy in nature, saying, “Scientists have shown that the sounds of nature have relaxing effects that help rejuvenate activity. The brain enters a state of of serenity when he experiences sensations similar to those of our early ancestors in the first biological environment.”
Researchers from Stanford University indicate that walking in nature reduces depression by up to 71%, and increases self-confidence by 90%.
To taste the silence
Emily Devian, a psychologist and author of Let’s Taste the Silence, says silence is as necessary as breathing, and it “takes us out of everyday turmoil” in a way that enables us to know ourselves better and act more vigilantly.
Devian stresses that “silence helps in self-reflection and the venturing of an inner path until we discover who we are and what we really want.”
In a study – published in the journal Science in 2014 – psychologist Timothy Wilson asked a number of volunteers to sit in an empty room without phones or any other distraction, and provided them with a machine that allowed them to electrocute themselves with light electric waves. The result was that 67% of men and 25% of women used the machine only to pass the time in the absence of other means, which shows the extent of addiction to the sounds of television, radio and modern devices in our world today.
And Michel Le Van Quinn advises that we leave enough space for ourselves to enjoy moments of calm, mental clarity and diving into imagination, because silence is not “just wasted times” as many believe, as it allows us to develop a creative sense and refresh memory, and it is an effective way to reconnect with ourselves and with others. .