Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, chances are you live in a loud environment. Noise fills our waking moments from traffic, people, radio, news feeds, and just the general sounds of modern life. But too much noise can take a toll on your body. And new research is finding that silence is actually really good for your brain and body. Keep reading to learn why silence is good.

In his very popular 2006 study, Luciano Bernardi found that people entered into a state of relaxation while listening to musical tracks. But this relaxed state increased even more in the silence between each musical track.

Research had already established that when you first hear sound, neurons light up in the brain’s auditory cortex, but if the sound continues, these neurons stop reacting. So, quite accidentally, another scientist discovered what happened when silence, instead of sound, continued. What happened to the neurons then?

Imke Kirste found in her 2013 study that silence, rather than audible input, had a stronger effect on cell development in the brain’s memory region. As Kirste explains, “Silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

Therefore, along with lowering stress levels, silence can also help to support the growth of new brain cells, and in turn, healthy new neurons.

These studies examined outside noise and its impact on the brain and body. However, further research shows that focused attention and self-awareness can help quiet a perpetually active brain, and promote inner quiet and silence.

This in turn may also help to lower stress levels and increase brain cell and neuron production.

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