We have always loved our moments of nature, believing they have a meditative and restorative effect on our well being. Even media institution CBS pays homage to this notion in their weekly Sunday Morning segment “Moment in Nature” which takes time to stop and reflect on its wonders. We recently reported on scientific studies that show a strong connection between time in the outdoors and mental well-being.
Now there are companion studies that indicate silence is also good for you, and provides restorative benefits similar to spending time in nature. The World Health Organization identifies “noise pollution” as a destructive force in modern society that has adverse effects on our physical and mental health. Silence – or near silence – can put our brain back into a mode that helps us meditate and relieve stress. A 2013 study by the Research Center for Regenerative Therapies suggests that prolonged silence may even help regenerate brain cells.
While sitting at home with earplugs or white noise, might be an option, any place with ambient traffic noise, cell phones distractions, or loud neighbors can disrupt that solitude. Venturing into the outdoors helps you leave those disruptions behind. Sure, nature is rarely completely silent – especially in the healthy environment of a forest where singing birds and the sounds of wildlife often provide a backdrop. But it is certainly preferable to the industrial noise that surrounds us daily, and is often the best place to reset your mind with the whisper of wind, gentle rippling water, and the golden sounds of silence.
Here is your own moment in nature with the Little Washougal River to enjoy a few seconds of solitude: