I am not religious but I am spiritual (whatever that might mean to you) and a favourite quote of mine ‘Be still and know I am God,’ which will immediately make me feel connected to a higher power. Stillness I believe is peacefulness and quiet.
Periods of silence were important to my healing so many decades ago. But just as valuable in helping us to survive these times. ‘Quiet is a part of care, as essential for patients as medication or sanitation.’Said the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale in the 19th century. It is an old-fashioned notion but one that today’s researchers have found is true.
In 2006, the University of Pavia in northern Italy conducted a study of the effects of music on our cardio and respiratory health. Test subjects were given a random series of two-minute musical tracks. The study results found music did stimulate changes in the body but the most exciting outcome came when they looked at the two-minute silent tracks, which interspersed the music. They found that silence was far more relaxing and beneficial to health than music.
In another research on the effects of periods of quiet by a biologist at the Duke University in USA found that mice when subjected to two hours silence a day prompted cell development in the (learning and memory) hippocampus region of the brain.
The quote ‘silence is golden, talking is silver,’ originated in Finland – a land of lakes, forests, and yes you guessed it, stillness. The Finnish Tourism Board recognised the worth of serenity and quietness both of their people and their landscape, seeing it as a valuable point of difference. They have successfully rebranded their country with a tourism campaign ‘Silence Please.’
When in the silence the mind quietens and you are at one in the moment it is easy to surrender. Surrendering is an act of faith, a handing over to a universal love or your form of God trusting that all will be well. Marianne Williamson, the spiritual leader and author said ‘Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us.’