How to quiet the noise

After reading an essay in the New York Times, I thought about how quieting the noise in your life is so important.  Every day, we wake up, check our email, Facebook and Twitter.  We may turn the TV on to get the morning news.  We may text our friends to see if class has been canceled that day.  We may whip out our iPhones to catch up on our latest Words with Friends game.  There are countless other media outlets that consume our everyday lives and it’s nice to just turn it all off sometimes.

Everyone has their own way of “turning themselves off.”  Some will forget their cell phones at home, as the essay says.  Others will simply turn off all electronics and meditate in their rooms.  My favorite thing is going to my cabin in the summer.  I know this is only about three months out of the year, but nothing can beat the way I feel once a weekend on the lake is finished.  Our cabin is in Northern Minnesota and cell service is next to none.  We have a television, but never use it since we’re busy doing things outside.  I take this time to sit outside and be alone with my thoughts or reading for fun.  I also take this time to legitimately talk to my family and friends who are with us at our cabin.  Having a real conversation is completely different than having a conversation over text message, which is how I usually communicate with my family while I’m away at college.  This time for me is truly time to unwind and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  I legitimately feel completely refreshed once the weekend is finished.

As I said before, this time only pertains to those beautiful days during the summer and I have been searching for a way to get that same feeling during the cold winter months.  Just last week, during one of my classes, we went to St. John’s church and just sat for a half hour.  We silenced all of our electronics and were alone with our thoughts.  I almost didn’t know what to do with myself since I’m practically attached to my iPhone.  However, I found this time to be calming.  I got to think about things that I don’t have time to think about, but still felt some anxiety that I could be missing an important text message from a friend or an email from a professor.  Once the half hour of silence was up, I had no notifications on my phone and I realized that the world doesn’t have to be as stressful as we make it seem.

I think I’m going to try to make a habit out of this.  Perhaps not sitting in the church, but turning off all of my electronics and just being alone with my thoughts.  I’m hoping I can stick to this 🙂

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