Sounds can have more impact on us than we would like to think. And by sounds I mean not just music and chatter and the cacophonies found in cities and forests alike, but also the opinions and expectations of others.
Some sounds can be pleasant, like a new favourite song you just discovered, or the powerful crash of ocean waves against the rocks, or the gentle buzz of terrace cafes in the early morning. And some can really touch your heart and stir up memories, like a recording of someone who has left your life, or hearing the laughter of a friend you have not seen smile in a long time.
Yet I feel that sometimes we are surrounded by too much noise. From traffic to aggressive advertising urging us to buy things we don’t really need, to unsolicited advice and external opinions on where you need to be at this point in your life, and what you need to achieve to be happy. And this noise that infiltrates our daily lives through numerous channels really acts like a distraction, drawing us further and further from the path we actually know is best for ourselves.
I recently realised that silence can not only be confronting, but also liberating. I had grown accustomed to always having sounds around me – of family, friends, and flatmates, of the city buzz, or of the wind in the trees and the dunes. I listen to music almost constantly and love finding new artists and exploring albums of those I already know. But silence can sometimes lead to more ideas of your own. In the absence of noise, you stop listening and absorbing things around you and really tune in to what you know is actually in your heart and mind. Ideas become clearer, crisper, and louder. And whilst it is nearly impossible to separate yourself from sounds completely, making room for silence in your life can lead to much more harmonious days.