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The Healing Power of Silence

Noise exists all around us, externally in the form of things like traffic, television, and cell phones, and internally in the form of constant thoughts. More and more, both mainstream and alternative experts are encouraging increased silence, both from outside and inside your mind, as a way to improve your health and well-being.

noise health

Too much noise, from both external and internal sources, has been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks, sleep loss and chronic stress.

Hospitals Reduce Noise to Help Healing

Noise levels at hospitals around the world are known to be incredibly high, and now anti-noise campaigns have been started to help keep things quiet.

According to Margaret Amato, clinical director of nursing at Montefiore Medical Center, noise levels during a shift change in a hospital can reach 113 decibels (a motorcycle, for comparison, is 95 decibels).

"Hospital noise levels are far too high internationally, and this has been known for decades," said Roger Ulrich, a professor of architecture at Texas A&M University.

Such noisiness causes patients to lose sleep, have higher blood pressure and may make them more likely to be readmitted, he says.

According to a study by Ulrich, heart patients who stayed in hospital rooms with sound-absorbing ceiling tiles were less likely to be readmitted within 30 to 60 days than patients in rooms with typical sound-reflecting tiles.

"The cost of readmission for a cardiac patient is very high," Ulrich said. "Preventing one or two readmissions would save so much money that that alone would pay for the cost of upgrading the acoustic ceilings throughout the cardiology floor."

Loud Noise Increases the Risk of Heart Attack

Even outside of a hospital setting loud noises can harm your health. A study published in the European Heart Journal found that long-term exposure to high levels of noise increases the risk of a heart attack. Specifically:

  • Men who were exposed for a prolonged length of time had a 50 percent higher risk of heart attack than those not exposed.

  • Women who had been exposed to noise had a three times higher risk.

Quiet Your Mind With
Guided Meditation

The Pure Relaxation CD is an essential tool for anyone starting out in meditation, or just looking for an excellent way to relax.

The guided meditations in Pure Relaxation will calm your mind, soothe your emotions and create a state of deep relaxation in your body, giving you permission to live in a more relaxed way.

Learn More About the Pure Relaxation CD Now!

"We feel that, if you have a higher and longer exposure to noise, either environmental or workplace noise, you are at a higher risk for a heart attack," said lead investigator Dr. Stefan Willich.

To reduce external noise in your environment, turn down the TV (or turn it off entirely), consider using noise-reducing headphones, use heavy curtains and carpeting to drown outside noise, buy quieter appliances for your home and wear earplugs in extremely noisy situations you can't avoid.

Internal Noise Affects Your Health Too

Aside from external noise, the noise inside of your head can also greatly impact your health. As most of us know, recurring thoughts of anxiety, worry, anger or fear are not only incredibly draining, but they contribute to the stress in our lives.

In this never-ending cycle of internal noise, negative thoughts that are left unchecked can lead to chronic stress, and chronic stress has been linked to fatigue, back pain, stomach upset and headaches, along with numerous more serious illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, depression and more.


Meditation is an excellent tool to help quiet the noise (i.e. racing, negative thoughts) in your mind.

Quieting Your Mind With Meditation

One way to silence negative thoughts is through meditation, a practice that's gaining much popularity in the United States. Meditation helps you get in touch with the quieter levels of your mind, relaxes your body and lowers levels of stress hormones.

Many scientific studies have confirmed meditation's beneficial effects, which include:

  • Boosting the immune system

  • Lowering the risk of cancer and heart disease

  • Lowering blood pressure

  • Improving concentration and sleep

  • Relieving headaches

  • Faster recovery after surgery

While you may be thinking that you simply don't have time to meditate, once you start you'll find it helps increase your energy and you achieve more throughout the day.

For those just starting out, these four simple meditations for busy people are ideal (click on the link for details about each type):

  • Breath Awareness Meditation

  • Body Awareness Meditation

  • Walking Meditation

  • Knitting Meditation

Also incredibly beneficial is using a guided meditation CD, which will help you get into the swing of meditation. The Pure Relaxation CD is our favorite for this purpose. It has deeply relaxing meditations of various lengths and styles, accompanied by soothing music to help you quiet your mind, both inside and out.

Recommended Reading

LISTEN UP! Exposure to Loud Noise May Cause Tumor & Other Health Risks

A 20-Minute Vacation: The Amazing Health Benefits of Meditation


CBS News

Silence Between Thoughts

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