5 Neurological Reasons to Keep Your Mouth Shut

The Urban Monk

The TV’s on. The radio’s on. We’re listening to music. We’re jawing from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep. (And actually, excessive talking can cause jaw pain and discomfort if you really can’t stop yourself.)

In Taoism, and many other Eastern and reflective religions and belief systems, silence is treasured.

The Brain Metabolizes New Knowledge

When you’re not talking, the brain is actually working pretty hard. In a state of “rest”, the brain can engage in self-reflection. This is as opposed to self-recognition, self-esteem, or formulating the concept of the self.

You Won’t Say Anything You Fret About Later

Chattering constantly, it’s pretty easy to say things that you:

  1. Don’t mean…
  2. Haven’t fully thought through…
  3. Won’t feel reflect your true position after more thought.

Your Brain Creates New Brain Cells

According to a 2013 study, silence — including not speaking — for a minimum of two hours per day encouraged cell regeneration in the hippocampus.

You Spend More Time Developing Your Opinions

If you’re not talking, you should be listening.

When you think more before you speak, you engage more parts of your brain — thus, strengthening them.

You use memories, current events, trends, learned knowledge, empathy, and more. All of those functions come from different areas of the brain.

Gratitude is Prioritized Over Wanting

What are you saying most of the time? While your mouth is moving, what is coming out? What is it that drives us to make our communication constant?

Is want. We’re trying to verbalize desires. What we want for dinner, what we want to do next week, what we wish would’ve happened in this interaction, what we want you to do for us, what we want to watch on TV, what we want to do once we get to the gym and what we want the rest of our evening to look like…

Eliminating some of our talking forces us to live where we are. When we live there, we want less. Where we are turns out to be sufficient after all.



NY Times Best Selling Author, filmmaker, and founder of whole.tv.

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