Silence is more important than you think.
The study of silence first happened by accident. Researched compared silence at first as a baseline to other sounds. (As reported by Rebecca Bear for Lifehack.org.)
Physician Luciano Bernardi explored silence in his research on music. When inserting randomly stretches of silence, the pauses induced a relaxing effect. Even compared to even the most relaxing music. Observing sensory processing at the University of Oregon in 2010, Michael Wehr found that both sound and silence signal change to neurons. When sound or silence is sustained it’s viewed by the brain as inactive.
Taking space from connecting with others may help encourage creative thought. Meditation including silence benefits critical thinking as argued to the paper “Reflectivity, Creativity, and the Space for Silence”, by Jane Dawson of St Francis Xavier University:
“The role of creative expression, as with the role of critical reflection, is to uncover them, and help us understand them more deeply. And creativity, like thought, takes quiet time and a sense of space to encounter it with our full attention.”
Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.