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In Belgium, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 1 to 10 October. Not really necessary, you say? Well, we think it is. Research has shown that almost 800,000 people in Flanders suffer from excessive stress and that no less than 10% of our youngsters develop an anxiety disorder.
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Silence is important. We have become so busy over the years that we have actually forgotten how important it is. Back in 2011, the WHO (World Health Organization) already called ‘noise pollution’ a modern plague with a negative impact on our brain.
Because of the many stimuli that surround us all the time, we increasingly suffer from sleeplessness, high blood pressure, reduced hearing, stress and so much more.
Silence brings many benefits:
- silence reduces stress
- silence allows your mind to calm down
- silence makes you feel better
- silence makes you more creative
- silence increases your empathy towards others
The silence does not have to be absolute. Maybe you can find out which sounds are soothing to you. Take a walk in silence, making time to listen to the sounds of nature or try to meditate and listen to your own thoughts. Get in touch with what is really going on in your head and in your body. If you know what calms you, it will be easier to find that calmness when you are faced with stressful situations. Did you know that every minute we’re awake, we have about 50 thoughts?
Suspending all your activities and looking for peace and quiet may be a bit drastic, but you could, for example, start by reducing your screen time. You really don’t have to be available all the time, wherever you are. Find out what works for you and your family. For some, it could be switching off all devices during dinner, making it possible to really enjoy the food, the time together and the conversations you can have with each other. For others it might be better to go offline on Sunday afternoon and take a walk in nature or organise an old-fashioned and fun board game afternoon. Make choices that fit into your life and that make you feel good and healthy.
Paying attention to your mind is just as important as exercising or eating healthy food. Silence does to your mind what sleep does to your body. It gives you the chance to recover and reduce your stress.
In both our wellness centres, the use of electronic devices is prohibited and we ask you to respect the silence as much as possible. We have some relaxation rooms available, and at Thermae Boetfort we even have a ‘whispering only’ sauna where you can experience the soothing effect of silence.
Do you like absolute silence? Or is silence, for you, eliminating annoying sounds and embracing soothing sounds?
In the coming days other articles about Mental Health Awareness Week will be published on our blog and social media.