We are bombarded with sensory stimulation almost every moment of every day. The TV is on, someone is listening to music in another room, the dog is barking, the dishwasher is on, the laundry is drying, the children need help with their homework right now, it is too hot or too cold or too windy or too rainy or too sunny, or too something outside or inside. Life is filled with noise, with kaleidoscoping colors and images, temperature changes, and all kinds of smells (good and bad). And sometimes it is all just way too much.
For many of us, we got the “silent treatment” when someone was angry or upset with us. Remember how you felt? Anxious, rejected, fearful, maybe even angry? Not a great way to feel, particularly if the silence became extended over many hours or even days. That kind of silent treatment was imposed upon you. However, choosing to give yourself the silent treatment can have many positive benefits. It is basically the equivalent of giving yourself an emotional time out. Take the time simply to sit with yourself and with your thoughts. Acquaint yourself with your innermost thoughts, feelings, desires, dreams, and goals. In our action-packed lives, taking a little bit of time just to be is essential for our overall psychological health. Allowing ourselves to be in silence is a way of recharging our emotional batteries.
You don’t need hours to do this. Try 15 or 20 minutes and see how you feel afterwards. The key, however, is not having any distractions. This quiet time is a break for the overstimulation most of us experience; no TV, radio, handheld games, computers, telephones, books, tablets, or anything else to distract you for your mental vacation. Tell your family members that you need a break for 15 minutes and that you cannot be disturbed during that time. With a little planning – and practice – this may become easier to accomplish than you might think at first.
Sit and get to know yourself again. Allow yourself to be feel refreshed and reenergized. At the very least, the brief break will give you a different perspective when you get back to the “stuff of life.”