The traditional holiday month of August is always quiet and this year has been no exception. Clients and students disappear, work slows down and the pace of life slackens. Personally, I always welcome this change of tempo and like to use it to take some much-needed space for myself.
I’ve therefore been enjoying a more leisurely time, relishing the freedom it gives me to catch up with friends and generally appreciating being able to chill out. I spent a very enjoyable few days having an old friend to stay in early August, and we decided to treat ourselves to some theatre tickets one night. I don’t get to the theatre that much (and neither does she), so we were both childishly excited about it as we set off on the bus which took us into the West End. This is a part of town I rarely visit at night these days, and we were shocked to find that no sooner were we off the bus and heading towards the theatre than we were caught up in a sea of jostling crowds where everyone seemed to be trying to move in different directions. It was most uncomfortable. Added to that, our ears were all but deafened by the sound of an electric band playing with full amplification right outside the theatre!
Thankfully we were soon inside the sanctuary of the auditorium and away from the mayhem outside. We thoroughly enjoyed the show and survived the return journey back home afterwards when, mercifully the crowds had thinned out somewhat. But later that night as I drifted off to sleep, I mused upon how all that cacophony and jostling was rather like how noisy our minds can get when we’re overfilled with information and have too many things to think about!
Having a head full of noise is very stressful. This happens frequently in times of worry, anxiety and change as our thoughts dart ceaselessly from one angst filled scenario to another. EFT Tapping is wonderful for helping to dissolve the stress levels, get the mind clearer and help you release the emotional intensity you may be feeling. This helps you to achieve a calmer mind, which is always one of the best things you could possibly do for yourself. A quiet mind produces a more relaxed body and a more relaxed body will automatically allow your natural self-healing mechanisms to be activated. Remember: You cannot be negative when you’re relaxed!
Noise is a big factor in stress. We hear a lot about environmental pollution in terms of how we allow our waste and rubbish to contaminate our seas and rivers and let the dust and fumes from traffic and industry to taint the quality of the air we breathe, but we don’t hear so much about noise pollution. Exposure to the effects of high level noise has not only been linked to hearing loss but also to increased stress levels and related health issues that affect your heart health and respiratory system.
Alas! Like so many of those other things in our culture we get so used to living with – e.g. the sound of drilling, banging and clattering on building sites, the noise of tubes thundering into stations, and the roar of traffic on busy roads – we think it’s normal. But it’s NOT! And we forget how much peace, solace and healing a little silence can bring us.
So what else can we do to help us enjoy a quieter mind whilst living in a very noisy world?
Well, one of the things most of us don’t notice is the fact that many home and office appliances like fridges, computers and air conditioners emit a constant hum which will drain energy from your nervous system. So do make sure that you don’t spend too many hours near these electrical devices. And seriously! – avoid keeping a computer or TV in your bedroom because they will seep out electromagnetic pollution which is not only detrimental to your energy on all levels, it’s also bad Feng Shui because it interferes with the flow of Chi in your night-time environment. If there’s nowhere else to put your computer or TV, then make sure that it’s switched off at the mains when not in use and not kept on standby.
Another negative aspect of home ecology is keeping the TV on all the time, whether or not anyone’s watching. This is distracting because your eyes are constantly drawn to the flickering images on the screen which interferes with your concentration and focus. It’s also pumping out unnecessary noise. The same is true of radios being kept on continuously. So make sure you keep your TVs and radios turned off until you want to watch or listen to something specific!
If you have teenagers or others who want to listen to loud music in your home, go all out to encourage them to use headphones. You could try telling them that if they listen to sounds which are at 85 decibels or more several hours a day, research has shown they could find themselves needing a hearing aid by the time they’re in their 50s!
In terms of healing sounds, there’s been a lot in the news of late about the restorative power of gentle, peaceful music. Research has found it to be a potent treatment for mental health issues and can help reduce depression, anxiety and chronic pain. Trials have also found that listening to tranquil music before and after an operation aids healing and recovery. Any pleasing, gentle, ambient music is good. However, because classical music has so many complex variations in harmony, melody and rhythm, it apparently helps to build more brain connections and enables people to deal more effectively with life and reduce stress levels.
Spending extended amounts of time in places where there are lots of people all talking together produces high decibels in terms of sound, so try not to spend too long in environments like pubs, clubs and noisy restaurants with loud background music. And whilst making efforts to keep the outer talking noise down, check out the noise levels inside your own head and notice what kind of things you’re saying to yourself. Never-ending judgement and criticism aimed at yourself will sap your confidence and undermine your sense of well-being. This is background noise that you carry around with you wherever you go! So, if you tend to do a lot of negative self-talk, make a commitment to turning those statements into more positive ones like : “I’m looking good/feeling good today”; or “I’m getting better at this”; or “I’m really enjoying this!” And notice how much BETTER you start feeling about yourself!
There’s no doubt that Nature nurtures! Getting out into natural, open spaces allows your aura to expand and your spirits to rise. There’s nothing like the sound of waves lapping on the shore or a breeze rustling through the trees for calming an anxious mind. The holiday season is still with us, so enjoy spending more time than usual outside in the fresh air. Enjoy the sound of birdsong and the gentle hum of bee’s wings. Even the patter of rain on the roof can be soothing. And when you’re back home again after your holidays, make a point of either getting out into the garden regularly (if you have one), or walking in nature or the park as often as you can and drink in the peace and tranquility of a natural location. It’s an excellent way of clearing the head noise.
And finally, one of the very best ways to experience inner peace is to meditate. Even if you can only manage a few minutes each day, you can build it up with practice and begin to notice the difference. Believe me; it’s worth every moment you can give it. So try to get into the habit of meditating on a regular basis, and you’ll be teaching yourself to find peace on an inner level which, happily, can counteract all that noise in the world around you!