The Benefits of Silence

Articles, Translations, Uncategorized

Learn About the Many Benefits of Silence

Al-Araby al-Jadid

6 May 2017

We live in a world full of sounds; some are melodious and others are noisy, but rarely do we experience silence. Is this important? Actually, it is. According to the website Psychology Today, silence has several benefits, below are some.

  1. Silence contributes the development of the brain. A 2013 study about the brain’s structure and functions showed that at least two hours of silence can lead to the development of new brain cells related to learning and memory.
  2. Noise affects our stress levels through increasing cortisol and adrenaline. A study in 2006 found that silence can decrease stress within just two minutes.
  3. Silence helps the body and mind relax more than listening to music, as indicated through lower blood pressure and an increase of blood flow to the brain.
  4. Periods of silence improve sleep.
  5. 20th century studies linked between noise pollution and higher percentages of heart disease and ringing in the ear (Tinnitus). The World Health Organization likened this pollution to a “modern plague”.
  6. Conor O’Shea, who interviewed 100 people on a retreat, found that they had increased levels of awareness and gave more time to reflection. Everyone should listen to their inner voice before making decisions.
  7. Silence helps increase our ability to think. This might seem obvious but often we find ourselves forced to finish a report amidst noise and some people study while listening to music; several studies have shown that this is not [productive for focusing].
  8. Caroline Myss says, “The soul always knows exactly what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to quiet the mind.” How to achieve that is up to you. For example, you can meditate for 10 minutes in complete silence and this might help you calm down and think of what to do. Give priority to what matters, then, the secondary details will be what you always wanted them to be, secondary.
  9. Abraham Lincoln says, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” We must realize that silence is many times the best strategy, not jut for ourselves, but for others as well. Not everyone wants to hear your opinion. Before you speak, ask yourself, “Is this beneficial? Do I have to say this?

This is a translation of an Arabic report that appeared on Al-Araby al-Jadid.

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Three Reasons You Should Spend More Time Outside

Writing

Whether it’s because of the winter or the temptation of screens, we, old and young, aren’t spending enough time outdoors. Here are three reasons to get out and treat our self-inflicted Nature Deficit Disorder.

  1. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun-  Spending time out will boost your vitamin D levels and that in turn, will boot your physical health. Studies have shown that vitamin D lowers blood pressure and regulates our immune system. But don’t forget that sunscreen!
  2. De-stress and lighten up- Being in nature can improve our mood and help us unwind, enjoy the present moment and connect with nature as we marvel at the beauty that surrounds us. Try forest bathing or hiking or simply taking a stroll in a park or along the beach and breathe in the fresh air.
  3. Heal- A study conducted by Robert Ulrich showed that patients who underwent gallbladder research who viewed trees withstood pain better and spent less time in the hospital compared to patients who looked at the wall.

Bottom line- Enjoy your Saturday and spend time in the great outdoors!

Germans are Working Longer, More Frequntly, and Later

Articles, Translations, Uncategorized

Arbeit: Länger, öfter, später

© iStock

© iStock

Die Deutschen haben immer weniger Freizeit. 1,7 Millionen Menschen arbeiten mehr als 48 Stunden pro Woche. Im Jahr 1995 waren es noch 1,3 Millionen. Auch ist Arbeit an den Wochenenden und an Feiertagen für viele kein Tabu mehr. Jeder Vierte in Deutschland – das sind 8,8 Millionen Menschen – ist samstags und sonntags im Job aktiv (1995: sechs Millionen). Außerdem arbeiten 5,6 Millionen Deutsche im Schichtdienst(1995: 3,8 Millionen).
***
German have less and less free time. 1.7 million people work more than 48 hours a week. In 1995, they were 1.3 million people. Working on weekends and holidays, for many, is no longer taboo. One in every four people in Germany- 8.8 million people- are active in their jobs on Saturdays and Sundays (1995: 6 million). Also, 5.6 million people in Germany work in shifts (1995:3.8 million).
This is an English translation of a German post. Read this article and find out much more about German culture on deutsch-perfekt.

Three Activities That Will Boost Your Happiness Today

Uncategorized, Writing

We often wait for things or events to happen to make us feel happier, but we have the power to bring feelings of happiness, gratitude and satisfaction into our own lives. Here are three activities you can do today to increase your happiness:

1-Do five random acts of kindness- Studies have shown that doing five random acts of kindness in a single day and writing about how you felt after performing the acts lead to feelings of happiness. The acts can be anything from picking up trash to donating money, sharing food or smiling to a stranger.

2- Take an awe walk– Take time out to go for a walk and marvel at the beauty around you. Try going somewhere new and vast with beautiful nature or views.

3-Don’t forget to play- As we grow older, we no longer spend as much time playing. With technology and more time spent in school or structures activities, even children aren’t spending as much time playing. Play increases our creativity and problem solving skills and decreases our stress. Take some time today to do something you enjoy just for the fun of it. Lose track of time. Draw, color, play pretend, get out those board games, read, build legos, and explore!