The Science of Silence | Wednesday Checkup

The Science of Silence | Wednesday Checkup

October 6, 2019 45 By Ewald Bahringer


– Hey guys, welcome to this
week’s Wednesday Checkup. Is this making you uncomfortable? Let’s talk about it, peewoop. (upbeat music) If your brain experiences
a sudden onset of silence, it triggers the auditory cortex, the part of your brain
that translates sound, just as much as if you heard
a really abrupt loud sound. So if you got a little uncomfortable during that last section,
you’re not alone. Especially in the current
era in which we live, where notifications,
Netflix, Podcast, YouTube, traffic noise is all around us, a moment of silence
can be quite unnerving. Actually the reason
why I wanted to discuss both silence and noise on
today’s Wednesday check up, is because two weeks ago I was
invited to speak on a panel at South by Southwest. Shout out Austin, Texas. And discuss how noise can adversely or negatively impact your health, on side note what’s pretty crazy is I had to follow Mark
Cuban’s presentation, and I’m a huge Shark Tank fan. So meeting him in the
green room was crazy. Traditionally when you meet people that are either celebrities
or billionaires, they travel in packs of five, ten, make up artists, managers whatever. He was by himself, he was in
a t-shirt when he found out that one of the young girls
in the room was a fan, he invited her over, told
her Shark Tank stories, super nice guy, Mark Cuban you’re the man. Alright sorry back to silence, I think the first thing
that needs to be said here is that in this current day
and age that we live in, despite the fact that
we’re hyper connected, I mean everyone has a phone,
everyone has social media, anyone can message pretty much
anyone anywhere in the world and yet we’re still all
really disconnected. And I think silence or the lack of silence plays a role there. Let me explain what I mean. Most people will
incorrectly define silence, as a passive state with a lack of sound. I don’t think that’s what it is. I think silence is an active
state where you’re interacting with both yourself and your environment. When you have some time away from noise, away from distractions,
away from notifications, you’re truly able to focus, on what you’ve accomplished today, what mistakes have you made
today, where you can do better. In talking to a lot of my patients and discussing the topic of silence, what I’ve come to realize is that, a lot of discomfort
that stems from silence, is usually from the idea, that people don’t like to be
left alone with their thoughts. That they have a lot of
anxieties that start to seep in. Their insecurities start
showing to their own minds. But when they’re constantly
feeding their minds with dopamine hits and doing
things and staying active, they’re distracting themselves. So when you have a moment of silence, it suddenly brings all these
things to your attention, and it can be quite distressing. I don’t think that’s reason
enough to ignore silence. I think that should be
even more of a reason, that you should seek some
silence throughout the day, for a moment of self reflection. And when I say self reflection,
it doesn’t mean meditating with your fingers touching
and your knees crossed, just means having a moment of
silence away from the kids, away from the families,
away from the cellphones, away from the traffic noise, where you can just sit and
be a human for a second. Many people tell me that, I
do the same thing Doctor Mike and I listen to relaxing music. Actually a study published
in the Journal Heart, found that music had an arousal
effect on the human body. The heart rate, breathing
pattern, blood pressure and then when you turned off the music, and went into full silence,
all those factors dropped, meaning that the person
relaxed, even below baseline before the music was even present. We all need that. So many of my patients
come in with hypertension. If I can just prescribe
them a moment of silence in order to lower it, I think that sounds a lot better than facing the adverse
reactions of some medications. I don’t want you to think that
I’m saying silence is better than all other sounds
and music and all that, it’s not what I’m saying. As with everything in
nature, in our bodies, there requires a balance. Relaxing music can trigger
a calming period of arousal. Upbeat music can prepare
us for a challenge and get us excited to meet new goals. When we have silence, it allows us time for
reflection and growth. Balancing all of these
things is extremely important in our everyday life. And when you swing in
one direction too far, you’re gonna have a problem. A study done in 2013 on
silence received a lot of buzz and publicity because it showed that mice, who experience two hours
of silence per day, actually had a growth of
nerve cells within the portion of the brain that’s
responsible for memory. Now people got very excited about this because of the prevalence of conditions like Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and they started to postulate that perhaps silence at one point can be a treatment for these conditions. And maybe that can be the case, but this is a preliminary study. And the biggest caveat here
is that this was done on mice. We’ve cured cancer and other
diseases in mice before. And that success doesn’t
always translate to humans. We’ve talked about silence
but lets pivot to noise. It’s been long documented
that a prolonged exposure to loud noises is not good for our health. Talking about hearing
loss, heart health issues, stress levels, lack of
creativity and productivity. And as a holistic physician, I
truly see the negative impact a loud environment has on my patients. For example, there’s been a
study done, that looked at folks who lived near loud environments, train tracks, airports, et cetera. And what they found is that
they have higher levels of cortisone, the stress hormone that gets released when your sympathetic nervous system kicks in. That’s that fight or
flight response you get, when you see a lion or
bear, think about that. Loud noises can stress you
out just like a lion or bear. Another study done by Cornell university, found that those who work in
noisy office environments, were less likely to be productive and more likely to be
cognitively impaired. This is why I’m not a huge fan
of open office environments. You need your private space. You need that silence. As the wise Ari Gold would say, – “Silence Lloyd, it’s golden.” – We talked noise, we talked silence, now lets talk mail time. Before we start, I wanna give
a personal and huge thank you to my man Phillip De Franco,
for giving us not one, but two shout outs in his YouTube videos, I grew up watching him, he is a YouTuber that I really admire. Actually this is really embarrassing, I’m gonna show this to you live on camera. This was my very first attempt at YouTube, I tried to be Phillip De Franco here. A new article from German a
respected medical journal, put into question if working
solely on the weekends is as equally as beneficial as working out throughout the week. It is common knowledge that exercises… It’s so bad I can’t watch it. But Phillip thank you for
inspiring me to educate young folks all across the world, and to make some content
that is meaningful, and honestly have some fun, cause this is a pretty fun process and I’m blessed to be able to do this. All right lets open up some package. Okay, I don’t know. Why, is life hard? This shirt smells like vinegar,
and it says don’t stop now. Live, survive thrive and
stay happy and healthy. What, someone sent a present
for Bear, it’s a little gator. I think it’s awesome that you
aspire to be a therapy dog. Oh my God no way. Hi my name is Kelly, and I’m a huge fan of
your YouTube channel. My friends and I saw
you have a Roxy pillow and we decided to get
you a Bear one to match. Visiting your Facebook page occasionally, I see that you like being
a man of style, a top hat? What’s up, how you doing? How you doing? Cheers to you good lady. No, legit, no legit if
these fit right now, I’m gonna be grateful cause this.. I’ve been wanting gloves
like this for a while. Yo, Sherry Williams, I can dig these and if you don’t think
I look good in this hat, probably neither do I but I
still appreciate the gesture. (upbeat music)