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In an increasingly busy world with all manner of distractions, silence can be difficult to find. As we fill our hectic lives with task after task, we can become scared of the times where there are no sounds and seek to avoid the experiences all together.

Mark Samways, counselling psychologist at Priory Wellbeing Centre Dubai, looks at why we may fear the idea of no noise or distractions, and the important role that silence can play in therapy.

Why do we fear silence?

A report by Bruce Fell on 'The Conversation' revealed that constant exposure to background media has created a mass of people who fear silence. This shows that like the majority of fears, it is a learned behaviour. 

When noise stops, it leaves us alone with our own thoughts and feelings, which we might have been avoiding for some time.

Do you find that when you’re trying to get to sleep, this is the moment when your mind wakes up and becomes most active? Maybe it’s the only time of the day that you have allowed yourself to stop, pause, be quiet and reflect. 

Silence in therapy

Silence can be a powerful asset in a therapy setting. At Priory Wellbeing Centre Dubai, we take the time to create a safe space when exposing our clients to the deafening sound of silence for a prolonged period. During this time, a person can start to feel anxious and may notice a change in their behaviour. We understand that sitting with your emotions can be difficult, and we work together with our clients to make it a more comfortable experience. 

Mindfulness therapy

Mindfulness therapy in particular makes use of silence. It helps you focus your awareness on the present, preventing you from contemplating about the past or the future. It is used for a wide range of mental health issues, including eating disorders, depression, stress and anxiety, by helping with the following:

  • Letting go of negative thoughts, which may be causing you to feel low in mood
  • Allowing you to become more in tune with your own body
  • Giving you the opportunity to accept thoughts and feelings, which in turn can help to increase self-esteem
  • Identifying signs of oncoming depression or anxiety, allowing you to take preventative steps

How does mindfulness work?

Mindfulness is an excellent skill to learn but it takes time, patience and understanding, which is something that we can be guilty of neglecting from time to time. 

There are two ways to practice mindfulness. When meditating mindfully, you sit for a period of time, observing your breathing and noticing your thoughts. As they arise, you will realise what your mind chooses to focus on, and how much time and energy you spend thinking about your past and future. Mindful meditation allows you to notice every thought, and refocus your attention on your present.

Living mindfully, moment by moment, is also another way to practice mindfulness, where you give your daily activities your full attention, such as commuting, working or even doing household chores.

At Priory Wellbeing Centre Dubai, we are quite often met with clients wanting 'a quick fix'.  In some cases, their learned behaviours around silence have been going on for a long time. It is important to give yourself time to make changes and show yourself some compassion. 

Mindful therapy at Priory Wellbeing Centre Dubai

At Priory Wellbeing Centre Dubai, our team of professionals are experienced in using mindfulness therapy to help people achieve a better quality of life. 

For further information on how we can help, you can call our team in confidence on (+971) 4 245 3800 or submit an enquiry form to receive a free telephone consultation with us.

Mark is a British trained psychotherapist working with both adolescents and adults with seven years of experience. He received his degree in Psychology (BSc) from Loughborough University and Masters in Addiction Psychology and Counselling (MSc) from London South Bank University.

Mark works within an integrative approach incorporating Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), attachment theory, and mindfulness based interventions. Mark's aim in therapy is to create an environment whereby the client can feel safe to explore issues in a non judgmental space.