Seven Research backed benefits of SILENCE on creativity, joy, and mental health inspired by my seven day silent retreat.

1. Enhanced mindfulness and well-being: Silence can foster a deeper sense of mindfulness and well-being by allowing ourselves to be fully present in the moment and engage in our surroundings.

Research has shown that silent meditation retreats can increase mindfulness, improve emotional regulation, and enhance overall well-being.
Paolo , my partner always comments on how I never close any drawers or cupboards.
He has playfully said he’s going to write a poem about it.
All week, I noticed when I did this, and by the end of the week, it wasn’t happening! 😃
Although I gave up using my phone for the week, I chose to read his message on Wednesday regarding whether our reunion, supposed to be on the 22nd, would be happening.
We’ve had to postpone last minute. However, due to four hours of meditation a day and after a wee cry, I was in full acceptance of it!
I watched how I began appreciating the opportunity of three weeks of restful fun and friend and family time instead until we’re reunited 6th August. It will be even sweeter a reunion now!!
Silence gave me the opportunity to feel the feelings deeply and move on.
There were lots of joyful moments throughout and lots of times of unexpected emotional release.
I was so thankful for that.
We don’t realise we’ve got emotions to release when we are on the ‘on’ button all the time.
And that was me who already had pockets of golden rest into the day!
It was pure joy to share my experiences with our gorgeous ladies on the bonus event of our self-compassion program on Tuesday.
One of them remarked it felt like it had been a cleansing.
It truly was, and I had no idea just how much I needed it.
2. Stress reduction: Silence has been found to reduce stress levels. No surprise there. 
It allows us to experience a sense of calmness and relaxation. Research shows that silence activates the body’s relaxation response, reducing the production of stress hormones such as cortisol.
From Sunday to Thursday, I yawned so much tears rolled down my cheeks in streams.
My mouth opened so wide that I laughed to myself that I was going to crack my face in two.
By Thursday, the yawning had stopped, and my shoulders and the back of my neck finally stopped aching.
3. Enhanced creativity: Silence provides an environment free from distractions, which allows our minds to wander and make novel connections.
Studies have demonstrated that creating silent environments promote creative thinking and problem-solving abilities by stimulating the brain’s default mode network (the system in your brain that does the thinking while you’re not thinking), associated with introspection and idea generation.
I chose not to write or read during my silent retreat, so I spent lots of contemplative time sitting around.
On the Sunday when it ended, I brainstormed lots of juicy joy ideas and projects I can’t wait to share with you all.
4. Improved cognitive function: Exposure to constant noise can impair cognitive functions such as attention and memory.
In contrast, silence has been shown to enhance cognitive performance by allowing the brain to recover from sensory overload and maintain optimal processing capabilities.
I was so relieved to be off the phone and completely unreachable for the whole week. My brain needed it big time.
I feel much more focused and have better boundaries with picking my phone up and shutting off the computer -I so hope that my trust in silence continues.
5. Enhanced focus and concentration: Silence helps to improve focus and concentration.
A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that silent environments significantly improved concentration levels and task performance compared to noisy environments.
6. Mental clarity and self-reflection: Silence provides us an opportunity for self-reflection, introspection, and increased self-awareness. Taking time for quiet contemplation allows us to gain mental clarity, process emotions, and gain insights into our thoughts and feelings.
I realised I had six or seven ‘ stories’ going on.
A tip from one of our teachers was just to name them (when a thought about that particular subject , situation, person etc came up) story 1 , story 2 , story 3 etc.
I’ve lots of tricks for pattern interrupt with pesky thoughts as I’m sure you do too.
However this one was new to me.
It was hugely freeing and worked wonders for both on and off the meditation cushion.
7. This was HUGE – Restorative sleep: Silence plays a crucial role in promoting quality sleep, which is of course essential for overall mental health and well-being.
For me, I turned off Wi-Fi at 9:30 PM after the final online sitting and slept all the way through to 7am and woke up refreshed.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve slept so well for a full week or woken up feeling like I’ve slept like a baby.
Although sleep had improved dramatically since the insomnia when I was ill, the quality of sleep that week was incredible.
It was like I imagined I would have slept like when I was a child.
We all know the research on how being on our screens affects our sleep but a week like this without phone or voice was deeply profound.
I saw so clearly what my body needed for wellness.
And here’s the thing: on the day after the retreat ended , my mind was back to being a busy beloved bee, and my sleep that night was all over the place!!
So, I made a promise to myself to create a 45-minute silence before my morning practices and talk less the next day!
As expected, I haven’t been able to keep up with talking less. 😃😃😃
However, I have extended my meditation practice in the morning and evening and kept the pocket of silence before it in the morning .
It’s important to say I know I wouldn’t have been able to do silent retreat this smoothly without many years of practises, retreats and a soul tribe.
It’s not for everyone and there’s a time and a place for everything.
Only you will know when it’s a good decision for you.
And it’s also best to note that while these benefits are supported by scientific research, the extent of their impact will vary between us all.
That said incorporating moments of silence into daily routines or finding quiet spaces can offer numerous advantages for creativity, joy, and mental health- big time.
So how can you cultivate more silence in your day-to-day life?
I’d so love to hear.

Have a beautiful week!


Sharon ❤️