October 15, 2020 - It's Time for Quiet Time!
Don't you sometimes wish we could make our current news cycle disappear? And I'm not talking about just turning off the radio or television. I'm talking about completely eradicating our global pandemic, economic hardships and social divisions. I think most of us would be overjoyed and relieved! I know that I would! Think how much calmer and less anxious we'd all be if we didn't have to contend daily with this onslaught of worrisome news! While that may seem like a fantasy right now, I trust that, as we make headway with these issues, that our anxiety and concerns will be greatly lessened.
I recently read an article by a neurobiologist who studied the lasting effects of this kind of bombardment of neuronal activity on our nervous system. Do you know what his remedy was? He prescribed a 24-hour-period of solitude! He felt that the best way to combat news neurosis is to eliminate all communication — written, spoken, live or recorded- with anyone or anything for 24 hours. In fact, he suggested that a "national day" of solitude would do more to improve our brain activity than any number of "brain exercises."
Naturally, he was speaking as a scientist, but the benefits of a period of solitude on our emotional and spiritual well-being are in no way new. In certain circles, they've been practiced for thousands of years and continue to be. Some religions and cultures have a tradition of retreating from the outside world for a period of time to reconnect with one's spiritual source.
Modern psychology also echoes the benefits of "quiet time," a term that can date back to our childhood, but it's important for adults as well. Maybe that explains why meditating seems to be more popular than ever. All of us need time to explore our inner self and renew our spirit. As the writer Pearl Buck has said, "I love people. I love my family, my children... but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up."
So, I hope you'll make time for a little solitude during your day, if you aren't already doing it. It doesn't have to be a full 24 hours either. Just some time when you retreat to your own "inner space" on a regular basis. It could do wonders for you — physically, mentally and spiritually. You have nothing to lose by trying and certainly deserve the benefits!