Saturday, January 16, 2021

Silence comes with benefits

Thoughts raced through my mind like sports cars speeding down the Northway. The responsibilities I must take care of on a daily basis drains me mentally. There is no time to rest my mind, for it constantly wanders like a nomad.

I had an hour to kill before my next obligation, so I decided to hang out at a friend’s room. She was working on her homework and listening to music. A song came on about somebody stealing a car radio from the car of the singer and his subsequent inability to sit in silence.

That song got me thinking. Would I be able to sit in silence if a burglar stole my car radio? Probably not.

So much of my life revolves around music on a daily basis. I have to listen to music in the shower, walking to class and, as a matter of fact, I’m listening to music as I’m writing this column.

But that all ended.

It’s been about two weeks since my headphones broke. As a result, I’ve been sitting in silence more often than I’d like. I have nothing to listen to walking to class except for the humming of cars speeding by me and the cawing of crows. I no longer go to the gym because I have no control over what song I want playing while I lift. All I have to listen to are my thoughts as they race in my head.

I lay in bed staring at the ceiling waiting for the blood to replace the caffeine in my veins, so I can finally fall asleep. But if it doesn’t quickly enough, I’ll grab my journal and write until I exhaust myself. Because the distraction of music has disappeared from my life, I have found that the thoughts in my mind easily escape onto the page in front of me.

Silence can be painful or uncomfortable, but once we grow fond of it, our minds can find a peaceful state of mind. I have yet to buy a new pair of headphones and don’t know if I ever will because of the lack of funds in my bank account. In a way, not owning headphones has been a blessing for me.

Sometimes taking a step back from the stress and exhaustion you feel and just letting your thoughts out is more beneficial than taking the easy way out by running to music as a healing mechanism.

According to an article by Paul Haider in OMTimes magazine, a publication focusing on spirituality and holistic living, silence reduces stress, boosts your brain chemistry and prevents plaques from forming in arteries.

Without headphones, my life has become much happier. I no longer have the option to drown out the rest of the world, and so I am forced to listen to my own thoughts and figure some s— out. And for that, I am thankful.

In a commentary track about the song “Car Radio,” singer Tyler Joseph said, “I encourage people to take some time to just sit in silence every once in awhile because a lot of things can come out — a lot of things that need to come out come out.”

Email Chris Burek at

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