Masters of Health Magazine November 2022 | Page 101

The Quieting Effect

by Steve Rees, Ret. RN, Harpist

While considering what to write about for this month’s issue, I was reminded of an old song written by Simon and Garfunkel — “The Sounds of Silence.” Remembering the words, made me think about how valuable silence and quietness are for a healthy lifestyle. Silence and quietness are not necessarily the same thing, but they are closely related. Quieting is not necessarily silent, and silence is not necessarily quiet. So, I would like to focus on the quieting aspect and explore ways that we can achieve this quieting and the effect it has on our bodies, mind, spirits, and attitudes in today’s busy world.


One of the comments that I get frequently from listeners on my YouTube channel is thankfulness for helping them “settle down.” This comes in many forms. Some express that for the first time, they have been able to sleep through the night after years of insomnia. The “quieting” effect of the harp music enables their mind to stop racing and for their mind to quiet and then fall into sleep. Many listeners have written similar notes and postings.


Another “quieting” effect has been expressed as many tell me that they go straight to  or the channel when life starts to become too chaotic.

They tell me that they pop in one of my CDs or bring up one of my mp3 files, and within minutes, their mind is calmed, their heart rate has slowed, and they are able to advance in their day with more clarity. My sister told me that she keeps one of my CDs in her car, and when life starts throwing her too many curves, she pops the CD in, and within minutes she’s calmed and ready to resume her day.


It is not just the music that I present. There are many artists available today that provide an endless selection of calming music that will have the same or similar effect. The key is to find music that has a slower rate so that your heart and body can entrain to the slower rhythm. I wrote an article a couple of years back on entrainment that you may want to look up. It is also important to have music that is harmonically sound and that you enjoy. One study said that the best music is one that raises the “goose bumps” on the back of your neck.


Quieting is not always connected to music either. There are other ways to achieve the quieting effect. My wife and I just spent a week camping out in a beautiful, wooded campground with no phone service and many lovely people around whom we had wonderful conversations. There were times of sitting alone with the warming rays of the Sun for company, along with my thoughts.  Also, there were times of listening to music, reading, and visiting. All of this was stepping away from my normal routine and allowing time to slow down and reassess my life through a different prism.


Another way that I enjoy quieting is to take a hike or drive up a mountain to a place that has an incredible panoramic view and just stand or sit there and allow the immense scenery to just roll past as I contemplate what an amazing world we live in. I take videos and pictures to share, but somehow the camera never quite captures the whole experience the way being there in person does.