Listening to Silence

Living in a big city, it’s hard to get away from noise. Horns honking, people shouting, construction blaring. That’s why so many of us cover our ears with music to drown some of it out. And while I’ve even written about the power of music in my life personally, sometimes there’s even more power in silence.

Today I took a walk to a nearby park to clear my head. And, being New York City, it was hardly a quiet trip. But in the noise of kids yelling and dogs barking, I was overtaken by a stillness and quietness inside my head.

All of the noise around me faded away and I was able to find peace.


Through the power of breath and meditation.

Along my walk I really didn’t want to think about anything. In fact, I wanted to think about nothing. So I mindlessly walked around the park, watched people pass by, and the only thing on my mind was my deep breaths – in, and out.

As I continued walking I noticed that while there was so much around me that I heard, I wasn’t listening to any of it. 

And instead I began listening to the silence. The thoughts that began to come into my head. Things that made me pensive, reflective, and curious.

It sparked something within me to begin to plan and to be productive with these thoughts, and I realized on my way back home how deep into this meditative state I had become.

With all of the noise and the craziness that fills our lives, especially in recent times, we all need to remember to remove the headphones, to remove the space and sounds around us, and clear our minds.

Through deep breathing and focused meditation, we are able to listen to this silence and begin to ponder. Some thoughts that present themselves are easily ignored, while others stick around and begin to elaborate.

Focus your attention on what is important and let other thoughts go through breath.

If we are always letting the busyness of our lives consume us, we will never have time to let in thoughts and ideas about our lives, our friends, families, and things that we are grateful for. This can lead to a sense of sadness and loss of hope.

Because there’s a lot that we have that we should be grateful for. There’s a lot that we have that we should be thankful for. And there’s a lot more our minds can tell us about our wants and needs that will make us stronger, healthier, and happier.

We just need to give them the chance to present themselves when we meditate, breathe, and create silence in a world that seems so hard to ignore.

Morning Routine for Greater Energy

Nothing gives you more energy in the morning like a great night’s sleep.

But if you didn’t get one, and even if you did but still want a little boost, here’s a great morning routine that I follow almost every day before I even have a coffee, that allows me to wake up quicker, feel more energized, and carry positivity with me throughout the day.

1. Take a cool shower

The first thing I do every morning is take a shower. I feel groggy all day if I don’t shower when I get out of bed. So that’s the first step.

But what gives you an energy boost is either taking a completely cold shower, or, do what I do, and take a warm shower but riiiight before you’re about to get out, slowly turn the knob cooler and cooler so your body has a little time to adjust, and then see how far you can go!

This not only jolts your body to wake up, but it helps you get out of the shower faster because you won’t be in warm and steamy water that you want to stand in all day.

2. Listen to music

I’ve already written about the power of music, but applied to your morning routine, listening to music, preferably some happy, upbeat tunes, really helps energize your body and mind and can set the tone for the day. Singing along, maybe dancing around a little while you get changed, are all things that can help wake you up and bring some joy and fun to your morning routine.

Nothing like a good endorphin release from a good song first thing in the AM.

3. Drink a glass of room temperature water

The next thing I do to give me added energy is to drink a full glass of room temperature water. Every night as a part of my nightly routine, I set out a glass of water so it’s ready for the morning.

Doing this boosts your metabolism and kick starts your body into action. It also gives you the much needed water your body is craving after not drinking anything in 8 hours. Hydrating first thing in the morning gets you an easy glass of water out of the way, and gets that digestive system moving for better daily internal health.

If there is the one takeaway you get from this post, make it this one. I swear by this and recommend everyone to try this step every day for a week and see how you feel!

4. Stretch

The next thing that I do (and admittedly don’t always get to) is a very short energetic stretch routine that allows my body to loosen up and give me a little boost before preparing to sit down for most of the rest of the day. Remember when doing these stretches – breathe deeply! Repeat this sequence for as many times as you please.

  • Yawn stretch – just like the way it sounds. Stand up tall, bring both arms over your head and then slowly lower them as wide as you can, giving a great stretch across your chest and through your back.
  • Forward fold – As you bring your arms down from the yawn, slightly bend your knees and continue bringing your arms down to reach toward your toes. Stay there for a little while slowly swaying back and forth, getting comfortable feeling your hamstrings elongate and your lower back stretch and tension in your lumbar spine release.
  • Downward dog – From the previous position, bend your knees generously to bring your palms to the ground. Step your feet back so you’re in a plank position with your arms in line with your shoulders. Then press and lift your hips up to form an upside-down “V”. Try reaching your heels as far down to touch the ground as you can.
  • Cat/Cow – Next, lower your hips and get onto your hands and knees with your back forming a flat table. Then, slowly press into the ground lowering your head and sending your back up high to create a “scared cat” looking pose. Then, send your back down, bring your chest toward the ground and lift your head out high so that your spine creates a “U” shape while continuing to press into the ground. Do this a few times.
  • Downward dog – Same as above!
  • Cobra – Finally, lay down completely with your arms close to your chest and your palms flat on the ground, then press up slightly so that your chest is elevated but your hips are still on the ground. Lift your head up high and breathe.

5. Smile all the way down the stairs

Here’s something that most people probably don’t do, but it’s such an important tip that can not only give you more energy in the morning, but create a positive mood to carry out the entire day.

Every morning when I walk down the stairs to head out the door, I make sure that I force myself to smile as big as I can and give myself a mental pep talk including things like “Today is going to be a great day and you’re going to kill it”. Oftentimes when we walk down the stairs (or go down the elevator) to leave our apartment building or house, we do the opposite of this. It’s often a time of brief dread and thoughts of “I don’t want to go to work” or other similar lines.

Walking down the stairs also can literally feel like we’re walking down in mood, into another world that’s filled with stress and work, and down from the comfort of home (i.e. your bed). So forcing a smile and positive words as you walk down the stairs flips this completely on its head and sets the pace for the day, energetically and with your mood.

6. Energetic breathing on your commute

The final thing to do to bring in as much energy as you can for your day is to practice energetic breathing. Overtime, our bodies start to breathe shallower instead of deep, full, meaningful breaths that we are meant to take.

So on your commute to work every morning, I challenge you to take very deep breaths expanding your rib cage and all the way into your diaphragm and belly. Sit or stand with good posture and focus on your breath and turn it into a meditation. You can do this while listening to music, reading a book, or looking out of the window of the bus.

This helps your nervous system to remember to take fuller and more energetic breaths and give life to your body through deep breathing. And this doesn’t have to stop after your commute. As you begin to practice more and more (because you will likely get a little light headed after doing this for a few minutes and need to take a break) you will find that you will naturally start to breathe deeply and more energetically.

If you give this routine a try, I promise you that you’ll feel more energized before you’ve even had your coffee. Practicing this every day will help create a routine centered around an energetic and positive start to your day and promote strength, health, and happiness each and every morning.