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The Power of Silence.

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Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on

I enjoy silence.

My SO* and I are polar opposites when it comes to silence. He cannot stand a quiet house. When he gets up in the morning, the first thing he does is switch on the radio or the TV. He often has two ‘sounds’ going at the same time – the TV and the radio, or the radio and his cell phone (listening to something on social media). That, of course, drives my crazy!

One sound at a time, is more than enough. Listen to the radio, or switch it off and put the TV on. And sometimes even leave everything off. A day or two ago, I was driving in my car, and I thought that I’ll listen to the radio. As I switched it on, I realized that it was the first time in nearly a week that I switched a radio on! I had the TV on often in the evenings, but not a radio.

I used to think I’m a huge music lover. Lately I’ve realized that I am not. Whaaaaat? That is not totally true, but to my mind a music lover is someone who listens to music constantly. I used to know the bands and most of their members, their music, etc. Now I find it too much of an effort to get to some music to listen to. You have to go to Spotify or Apple tunes on your phone, (or what ever you’re using,) compile a play list, or several playlists, and then, according to your mood, listen to some music.

When should I listen to music? When I’m driving? I try that often, but there is too much talking in between! And I drive and old car – no USB or bluetooth. (I know…) While I’m walking the dog? No can do – then I can’t hear vehicles approaching, or other people, and I like to be aware of what and who is around me. While I’m trying to write a blog? I can do that, but I know that once I’m concentrating on writing, the music will not mean anything to me – I won’t even hear it, so why even bother?

Once in a while, I’ll think of a song, and then I’ll look for it on YouTube and enjoy it, maybe even play it a few times. Or I’ll listen to one song, and that will trigger some memories and I’ll end up listening to ten songs, but that happens rarely.

Silence forces you to be okay with yourself. It is introspective. It is so stress free, as opposed to trying to sort out radio’s and TV’s all going at the same time! Listening to the radio all the time, also forces you to be constantly processing what you hear, and then having to make decisions about that knowledge. I’m not saying become a vegetable – of course you should at least be aware of what is going on in the world, but NOT ALL THE TIME! You are allowed to switch off from the bombardment of information.

Silence is in fact full of sounds – when you have everything off, you can hear the wind in the trees (which I am actually listening to right now), you can hear the rain on the roof, or the birds outside your window. Silence can be healing – if you allow yourself to listen to natural sounds all around you, and you breathe deeply, and consciously relax your shoulders, just let your mind drift away… You will feel better afterwards, I promise you.

Practice being in silence, for only a short while at first, if it scares you or freaks you out. You will start relaxing and enjoying it. ‘Struth!

Self therapy.

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Some crocheting going on at the moment.

When you are feeling stressed out, or unhappy, what do you do?

My first tendency is to want to sleep. The couch or my bed draws me like a magnet, and it is the hardest thing not to just give in and lie there, feeling sorry for myself. But somehow, up to now, I haven’t given in – yet. Somehow, on those down days, I’ve managed to get up and start my day and carry on relatively normally. (It sounds as if I am a permanently depressed old hag, which I am not, I swear! But I do have my days or my moments…)

Patchwork knitting.

What I do love doing on those days, though, is to keep my hands busy. So I pick up my piece of crochet or knitting, and I work away at that. It seems to bring calmness and order to my life again. You could ask how that helps, since it still leaves my mind free to think about all the ‘stuff’, but somehow it does. Maybe because my mind is busy with two things at a time, it lightens the load. If there is a pattern involved, even better, because then my problems and worries take a back seat as I concentrate on getting the pattern right.

I don’t keep my handwork only for the times that I feel down’ish’. Nowadays I cannot sit and watch TV without keeping my hands busy at the same time, so unless I’m really tired, I always have something that I’m working on in my hands. I’ve noticed that sometimes whatever is happening on the TV takes a backseat to my craft, and other times I get drawn into the program I’m watching, and the knitting is done on ‘automatic pilot’. (Which often results in having to ‘frog’ or undo a piece of my handiwork!) I will forever be grateful to my mom for teaching me to knit before I even went to school, and my grandmother and aunt for teaching me how to crochet at around 10 years of age. 🙂

Daisy and crochet.

Other options of coping with stressful times, are gardening, walking, and maybe talking to somebody that knows me and my situation very well. I find that I shouldn’t try and cook or bake at such times – the results are then totally uninspired and uninteresting and unlike knitting, it cannot be frogged and redone!

I think in these weird times with information overload and viruses flying around, it is very important to find yourself a stress reliever that does not involve alcohol or any kind of drug, as addiction is not a worry you want to add to your load!

Till we chat again, relax, take it eee-heeeeasy!!! 😀