The Quieting Effect
by Steve Rees, Ret. RN, Harpist
While considering what to write about for this month’s issue, I was reminded of an old song written by Simon and Garfunkel — “The Sounds of Silence.” Remembering the words, made me think about how valuable silence and quietness are for a healthy lifestyle. Silence and quietness are not necessarily the same thing, but they are closely related. Quieting is not necessarily silent, and silence is not necessarily quiet. So, I would like to focus on the quieting aspect and explore ways that we can achieve this quieting and the effect it has on our bodies, mind, spirits, and attitudes in today’s busy world.
One of the comments that I get frequently from listeners on my YouTube channel is thankfulness for helping them “settle down.” This comes in many forms. Some express that for the first time, they have been able to sleep through the night after years of insomnia. The “quieting” effect of the harp music enables their mind to stop racing and for their mind to quiet and then fall into sleep. Many listeners have written similar notes and postings.
Another “quieting” effect has been expressed as many tell me that they go straight to
Quieting is not always connected to music either. There are other ways to achieve the quieting effect. My wife and I just spent a week camping out in a beautiful, wooded campground with no phone service and many lovely people around whom we had wonderful conversations. There were times of sitting alone with the warming rays of the Sun for company, along with my thoughts. Also, there were times of listening to music, reading, and visiting. All of this was stepping away from my normal routine and allowing time to slow down and reassess my life through a different prism.
Another way that I enjoy quieting is to take a hike or drive up a mountain to a place that has an incredible panoramic view and just stand or sit there and allow the immense scenery to just roll past as I contemplate what an amazing world we live in. I take videos and pictures to share, but somehow the camera never quite captures the whole experience the way being there in person does.