Importance of Being Quiet

You know that people who are always yapping? Always having something to say, add, repeat. Always buzzing. They’re like bees, just less useful. Buzz, buzz, buzz. If they surround you, run! Run and just leave them to buzz to someone else. Be gone, buzzer! Unfortunately, sometimes, you’re the buzzer and you can’t run away. What you can is to learn have to quiet yourself.

Are You a Buzzer?

First, you’ll need to recognize you’re own buzzing tendencies. Try and answer these questions. I’ll ask and you give a buzzing sound if you know the answer. Just kidding, don’t buzz, please.

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Do you tend to complain about even the smallest of inconveniences?

I’ve cut my hand and now I need a little more help in my daily activities. Let me just sulk for a week and tell everybody how that’s not fair.

People on the Internet annoy you?

She’s posting pictures with her boyfriend again! I don’t need to see what you ate for breakfast! Complaining about politics on Facebook won’t change anything!

Are you constantly angry or disappointed in yourself?

Are you disappointed in yourself about the way you handled some situation and now instead of mending things (if they need mending), you lie awake and think about how could you do it differently? Of course, when you get up in the morning feeling quilt and tired, you still refuse to let it go and focus on the things you can actually do right.

I yelled at my mother because I was feeling irked and now I choose to torment myself about it instead of making sure it doesn’t happen again. No, let me just lament about it today so I can again feel resentful and angry at myself. That will help for sure. Everybody will most certainly feel better.

Should you be studying or working but instead of doing so, you choose to beat yourself up because you weren’t productive enough yesterday?

I really should be writing that paper now, but let me just think about it for a couple of hours until I feel even more guilty. Let me just lie down to recover from my guilty conscience so I can feel even worse. That way, I’ll be even less productive tomorrow.

If you feel attacked right now, congratulations! You’re a Buzzer. You think too much, you give us your opinions and you complain. You are constantly buzzing with thoughts and complaints, and, in the end, you’re just distressing yourself.

But you just can’t let go, can’t you? Going in circles, round and round, without really getting anywhere. Carousels are for children. You need to learn to let it go. Be like Elsa but without maiming your sibling in the process. (And no, I’m not being a hypocrite, Disney movies are not just for children.)

How to Be Quiet?

As you can see, constant complaining and thinking will get you nowhere. First, you’ll need to learn how to stop yourself from buzzing.

Hold Your Tongue

This one should be an easy or at least an easier thing to accomplish. You need to refrain from talking. It’s not a pleasant thing to say or hear, but if you’re so used to complain, in the beginning, you’ll just have to make yourself quiet. You will most certainly continue to think about whatever you wanted to say and you will not be able to silence your mind but that’s a start. After some time of keeping yourself quiet, you’ll notice that you don’t need to constantly remind yourself to hold your tongue. Occasionally, you will still buzz about not really important matters you can’t influence. Also, you’ll most likely continue to focus on them at least in the privacy of your mind. Nevertheless, it’s progress!

Keep Yourself Busy

As you can see, even when you learn how to hold your tongue you probably still won’t be able to stop the buzzing. That’s why I try to shift my focus by keeping myself busy. (Better busy than buzzy. I’ll stop now, I promise!)

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If you catch yourself obsessively thinking about something without coming to a conclusion you might want to try and occupy yourself in some other way. Do something practical like doing the dishes or cleaning your room. Or try doing something that you enjoy, gardening, reading, going for a walk, cooking. Do whatever can help you break that useless thought cycle. Progress again, my fellow buzzer. However, we still need to learn how to shift our focus without having to keep ourselves busy.

Shift Your Focus

Holding your tongue? Check! Keeping yourself busy? Check! Now, we just need to truly realize that by thinking about something over and over again we just waste our time and make ourselves miserable. Of course, if you’re not willing to give up overthinking, no amount of tongue holding and of being busy will help you. You need to understand that this kind of behavior isn’t doing you any good. Quite the contrary, if you give in to constant thinking, the buzzing will never stop and it will always make you feel disheartened or displeased or something in between.

When you catch yourself buzzing with useless thoughts that repeat, try to stop yourself. Even if you’re quiet for just a short period of time, it’s progress. With time, if you persist, you’ll get to the point where there will be no need to reason with yourself in order to stop with purposeless thoughts. By that time, you’ll learn to shift your focus as soon as you hear the buzzing.

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