Tuesday, May 8, 2007


I just read 29 Happiness Hacks to Feel Better Now, and the tip I really liked is tip Eighteen:

Hack Eighteen: Silence

Listen to the quiet. Turn off every sound possible so you can actually hear what silence sounds like. It might require a drive to a more secluded location, or turning off appliances in your house but near absolute silence is so rare it is amazing how beautiful it is when you can hear it.

However it can be so hard to find a silent place nowadays. In my room I always hear music of neighbours (not that hard that it is annoying, but i still hear it), my computer, and several other small sounds.

Even when I go for a walk outside the city it still hard to get silence. Recently I took a walk along the Paterswoldse Meer, and though it's nice and relatively quiet there at night, you still hear the cars from the nearby highway.

I remember skiing down a closed black piste with a friend of mine, and since it was closed (meaning you're not insured if you get an accident) and black (meaning it's comparatively hard) there was no-one there. And as the piste went around a mountain, at some point you could see neither hear the other pistes. Shocked by the silence I first comfirmed that "Ezel" was indeed the mayor of "Wezel".

We decided to lie down for a moment and to listen to the silence. And it was right there I discovered I haven't heared silence for a long time. This was really a weird discovery, because you're in enough "silent" situations; when in the library, while making an exam, etc. However, it's only when you hear perfect silence you realise you actually never experience real silence.

When was the last time you experienced silence?


Georg Muntingh said...

The lack of silence you just described doesn't hold to the same extend for Norway. This weekend we went climbing in the forest just to the west of Oslo, and it was quite silent there: no cars, just some birds. My guess is that hills really help reducing the sound (and of course so does the early morning).

Anyway, I agree with you that silence can make you feel very happy, though I don't think it's my favourite on the list.

Thomas ten Cate said...

At my parents' house it can get perfectly silent. It's about a kilometer away but there's nothing but empty fields in between, so the wind has to be right (but not too strong or you'll hear the trees rustling).