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Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think, Science Confirms

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Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains

There was a marketing campaign by the Finnish Tourist Board back in 2011 that used silence as a marketing product.

They released photographs of Finland, the beautiful country of silence, with the slogan “Silence, Please,” inviting people worldwide to enjoy the nature and silence of this country.  

This was one of the first times when silence was being used for selling purposes. Nowadays, it is becoming more and more appealing. With the world getting busier as well as louder, one can find oneself seeking for the peacefulness and calmness of the quiet places.

Spending time in quiet can indeed be a smart move for you as studies show that silence is indeed golden because it is more beneficial to your brain than you might think.

SILENCE KEEPS YOUR BRAIN CELLS FRESH

One study on mice, published in Brain, Structure and Function Journal (2013), studied the effects that different sounds and silence have on mice’s brains. The scientists found something unusual.

They discovered that when mice were exposed to 2 hours of silence a day, they developed new brain cells in the hippocampus (the brain region associated with emotions, learning, and memory).

“We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system,” said the researcher Imke Kirste.

THE BRAIN ACTIVELY INTERNALIZES AND EVALUATES INFORMATION DURING SILENCE

One study showed that even when the brain is in a rest mode, it stays active evaluating the internalized information.

When the brain is resting, it can integrate external and internal information into “a conscious workspace.”

This happens because, in the periods of silence, the brain has a freedom to find its place in your external and internal world thus helping you to think more clearly about things.

SILENCE RELIEVES TENSION AND STRESS

It has been discovered that noise alleviates the stress hormones in our body. Because our body reacts to the sound waves even when we are sleeping.

The amygdala (a part of the brain associated with memory and emotion) becomes active thus emitting stress hormones. This is why if you live in a noisy environment you are more likely to be stressed.

Silence, on the other hand, has the opposite effect on our brain. While noise causes tension and stress, silence releases the tension and stress from our body and brain.

A study published in Heart Journal found that even 2 minutes spent in silence can be more calming than listening to ‘relaxing’ music.

SILENCE REPLENISHES OUR COGNITIVE RESOURCES

Noise affects our cognitive functions, such as memory, reading attention, and problem-solving

Many studies have proved that, children, who were exposed to classrooms or households near highways or railways have lower reading scores, and they have a slower development of their language and cognitive skills.

Luckily, in silence, the brain can restore some of the ‘lost’ cognitive functions.

There you have it. Now you can enjoy your moments of silence while being grateful for them.