Tune in to Silence


By Carly Milne  |  

Summer in the city: The noise starts with your morning alarm and goes from there—ringing phones, traffic noise, construction clamor. By the end of the day, you’re longing for a silent retreat.

You’re on the right track for wanting to turn things down: Excessive noise can jangle your nerves, raise blood pressure, and interfere with digestion. One solution is to create oases of silence in your everyday life. If you can build up reserves of inner quiet, you’ll be less bothered by noise you can’t control. Try the following tips from Janet Luhrs, author of The Simple Living Guide.

Start the Day With Silence

“Everyone begins the day with higher cortisol levels, so starting your day with noise from the radio or TV will increase those levels and make you feel more stressed,” Luhrs says. Setting aside some time to meditate is an option, but even showering and dressing in silence will help you feel calmer.

Create Quiet Transitions

Try driving to work without turning on the radio; set aside a time for silence when you get home. Better yet, designate one evening a week as a nonspeaking one.

Let Technology Help You

Noise-canceling headphones are great for shutting out unwanted sound; an alarm clock that chimes makes a better morning companion than one that buzzes or beeps.