In Lawsonland, I teach my students a lot about their brain and how it works. We know that the brain needs quiet time, down time in order to process learning. This is what makes sleep so important - the brain spends most of that time sorting and storing the day's experiences into learning and memory. I've also noticed that children very rarely, if ever, experience silence. They don't even know what it is. Not really. To meet those two needs, I do something I call reboot. Immediately after lunch and recess, my students come silently into the classroom and have a seat. We spend the next five minutes doing nothing but sitting in silence. Our goal each day is to simply "breathe and be." Honestly, it takes a good while to train the class in how to do this, but once it becomes a habit, children crave it like they do recess.
...sit quietly for five minutes in the middle of your day and do nothing but breathe and be?
... commit to a silent hour one day a week?
... try a silent afternoon? Leave everything noise making behind - no camera, no watch, no phone. Grab a chair or a blanket and pillow. Head out deep into the country. Just breathe and be. It's amazing where your thoughts will take you.
... buy the July issue of Real Simple and read the article on silence?
... try a retreat of silence? In college I went to Intervarsity chapter camp. We were asked to go one day (really only about 6 hours) without talking. It was more difficult than you might think, but actually profound in its effects.
... begin your day as quietly as possible? Wake up to soft music. Turn it off and listen only to the sounds of your feet as you move around the house, your breath as you stretch and bend, the water as you shower.
... be more intentional with the television? Don't leave it on just for company or "white noise".
... make it a goal to become more comfortable with silence?
... pay attention to how much more you notice when the technology has been silenced?
... practice not rushing in to fill the gap in a conversation? Wait. Allow a little think time.