Because silence is of vital importance to us all, according to science

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Silence is of vital importance for all of us, and this is also demonstrated by science with various studies that have highlighted its beneficial role.

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Carve out moments of silence during the day it is of vital importance and if to say it is the science, it is to be believed! Several studies conducted over time have indeed confirmed that noise has a negative impact on our physical and mental health because, among other things, it increases the levels of stress hormones.

While the silence, in reverse, it makes us more peaceful, calm and relaxed. And according to science it is even at the basis of creativity and mental elasticity, able as it is to regenerate the brain and body, and to make us recover cognitive abilities.

What about the noise instead? The World Health Organization has found that in 2001 half a billion people suffered from hearing problems, and according to forecasts, by 2030 it will be 1 billion. Often the ailments depend precisely on the too loud noises to which the subjects are subjected daily. On the other hand, the European Environment Agency, examining the damage of noise on European citizens, has shown that the environmental ones are associated with 16.600 cases of premature deaths every year.

The fault is due both to noise pollution due to a multiplicity of factors, and to other more unsuspected sounds, such as those that reach the brain in the form of electrical signals while we sleep, activating the amygdala and the production of stress hormones.

The internet is also the enemy of silence, at least of the mental one, because being constantly connected, it forces us to keep our attention high at the expense of the prefrontal cortex, which needs tranquility to help us make decisions and solve problems, its main functions. Inter alia noise, in addition to causing stress, causes high blood pressure, heart disease, insomnia. And it still worsens concentration, makes us lose motivation, has a negative impact on cognitive ability.

For silence, various researches have indirectly highlighted its importance. Like the one conducted by the doctor Luciano Bernardi in 2006, who, studying the physiological effects of music, discovered that in the 2 minutes of silence between one noise and another, the brains of the subjects examined were much more relaxed. He also realized from the experiment that silence is intensified when noise follows.

Another study conducted by the University of Krakow, presented at ESC 2016, showed that people continuously subjected to airborne noise, such as those who live near airports, are much more prone to a whole range of disturbances, and have on average a higher blood pressure. The same research has shown that chronic noise increases the levels of stress hormones, negatively affecting the immune endocrine system and the autonomic nervous system. On the contrary, silence reduces all these problems.

Is always silence has been the basis of meditation for millennia, a spiritual practice whose benefits are now proven by science. Among the studies that have highlighted the positive effects, the one conducted by Bruce Barrett of the University of Wisconsin, USA, who analyzed 51 individuals, found a substantial difference in terms of health between those who meditated regularly and those who did not.

Further research conducted in 2003 subjected people to regular meditation over a period of 8 weeks, finding a net improvement of immune function compared to those who had not followed the program. Considering that this practice is mainly based on mental silence, it follows that it certainly has beneficial effects on our psychophysical health.

You may also be interested:

  • The benefits of silence to heal body, mind and spirit
  • If you have nothing more beautiful to say than silence, shut up


Laura Rose


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