We have all seen a group of people sitting together in a restaurant waiting for their meal – and everyone is on their phone. Maybe we’ve even done this ourselves when we’re out with friends or family.
Or, in any moment of inactivity, our first instinct is to check social or the news or play a game of Wordle. We even interrupt activities because our FOMO compels us to check our phones every five minutes.
Many of us live on our phones. A 2021 survey by Statista of 2,000 respondents aged 18 and older found that nearly 80% spend more than three hours every day on their phones, not including work-related usage. Almost half (46%) spend five to six hours on their phone every day!
I admit that I’m not immune to the pull of the endless entertainment that I can access online.
That said, the need for continuous online engagement and amusement has consequences:
– We forget how – and how good it is – to connect with others face-to-face.
– We engage with content that may bring us down, as sometimes social media can do.
– We are distracted from connecting with ourselves.
Let’s talk about the last of these: We are distracted from connecting with ourselves.
To practice self-love, we need to prioritize connecting with ourselves. The relationship we have with ourselves is the most important one we will ever have. And we cannot invest in that relationship if we are spending every free moment texting or on Tik Tok or Insta (though I do enjoy both!)
Instead, we need to schedule and protect time to think, to evaluate, to understand, to plan.
We need to learn to listen to ourselves – and to create a peaceful, quiet environment where we can actually receive the messages that our mind, body, and gut are sending us.
Some people will deliberately avoid quiet time.
“Jenna, quiet is boring. I’m an extrovert, and I hate feeling bored.”
Or: “Jenna, I don’t like the thoughts that surface when I don’t stay 100% busy.”
Whether you are an extrovert, an introvert, or an ambivert – or if you are addicted to busyness because you don’t want to be alone with your thoughts – taking time to be still for a period of time each day can provide amazing benefits.
Let’s go deeper into understanding quietude – and its importance to our well-being and to our practice of loving ourselves.
In my post, Self-Love Is Not Enough: How to Love Yourself MORE, I talk about how the practice of self-love requires deep internal work. This deep internal work can only occur when we tune out the world and tune in to ourselves.
We need quietude to do this work.
Quietude is a state of stillness, calmness, and quiet in a person or place.
Here is why quietude is important in our self-love practices.
- What benefits does quietude provide?
- We invest in our relationship with ourselves by focusing on us.
- We have the opportunity to listen to what our mind, our body, and our intuition are telling us. What they are saying may not be easy to hear, but can guide us on making positive changes in our lives.
- We insert moments of calm into our busy, demanding lives. For many, this can reduce stress and refill our Power Containers.
- We create space for creativity, inspiration, gratitude, and resolution.
- What do I do in my state of quietude?
- Give thanks
- How does quietude play in my self-love practice?
- Quietude can help us to more clearly understand how we are honestly feeling inside, no matter what we are projecting to the world. We can see the good, the bad, and the beautiful!
- Quietude can enable us to diagnose what is bothering us and to identify what is not serving us. It can provide clarity through the chaos of daily life to pinpoint what is draining our energy, what past events, traumas and beliefs are holding us back, what we need to change, and what action to take.
- Quietude can give us the space to reflect on what in our lives is going well. What is giving us peace and happiness. We can determine what people and activities are building us up and bringing us joy. We can reflect on who and what we are thankful for. We can recognize that, while life is never perfect, we can find contentment by focusing daily on our victories – small and large – and on the goodness in ourselves and in our lives.
In my book, “I Love Me More: How to Find Happiness and Success Through Self-Love”, I share many lessons in building a self-love practice, including several behaviors I had to change because they were sabotaging my ability to love myself more.