Quiet as the default setting

Young woman lying on grass

As someone with a tendency to overanalyse, over-emote and overthink EVERYTHING, I have found that it’s best to set up little practices in my daily routine that help me make a little room for peace and quiet inside me. That set me up for space rather than stress.

One such tweak that is super simple and effective is turning your car radio off every time you finish driving.


Background noise is insidious. That’s its entire point – that you don’t notice it. But make no mistake, you’re still taking it in. That’s why radio advertising is a multi-million (billion?) dollar business. Because our heads and hearts slowly take on all the noise that they throw at us through our speakers. It fills us up and we don’t even know it.

Now, I love rocking out to the latest Lorde track as much as anyone. Listening to music while driving can be fun and uplifting and a totally kick-ass way to pass the time.

But I like to make the conscious choice to do it, and to control my consumption.

For example, I never listen to the radio during my commute to work. Morning time is when I am especially porous. I feel just that little bit delicate. Energetically vulnerable. I have to be careful what I’m surrounding myself with in those first few hours, so that I make sure I’m setting myself up for a day of peace and productivity, not stress and rushed-off-my-feet busy-ness. Morning radio does not serve me, and I prefer to drive either in silence, or if necessary, with some carefully chosen, quiet, delicate tunes from my media player (which, of course, are blissfully ad- and chatter-free).

However, if the radio has been left on since my last car trip, and starts up automatically, I won’t even notice it. I’ll get caught up in the chit-chat and the poppy music (and the endless ads), and won’t even be aware of it. My brain will follow it and engage with it and gnaw away at it like a golden retriever with a bone.

And then, when I get to work, I wonder why I don’t feel as centred as normal. As calm. As ready to start my day with focus and energy.

All because I didn’t give myself the mental space that I needed.

(Sidenote: Don’t even get me started on people who watch TV breakfast and news shows! My mum has them on in the background the entire time she’s getting ready. I feel like it’s an especially pervasive intrusion during an already busy period of the day… Can you tell I’m not a natural morning person?!)

I think that incorporating simple things into our daily routines that encourage us to be aware, to be present, can only be a good thing. And this is one such simple tweak that’s worth giving a whirl. Try switching off the radio every time you turn off the car. If you choose to switch it on during your next drive, that’s totally okay. But it will have been a conscious choice, one with just that skerrick more awareness than if the noise had just been thrust upon you.

And it’s those scraps and skerricks of awareness that make all the difference.

How do you protect your precious space? xo

6 Responses to “Quiet as the default setting”

  1. Emily

    Love this, so so true!! I’m taking part in Quiet Quest this month, and making time for 1/2hr quiet each day has made such a difference to my life. My Mum also love the morning TV – drives me nuts!!!

    Thanks for the reminder 🙂 xx

  2. Miche

    I find it intrusive when I get into my car and find the radio on as I never turn it on. Sometimes my son drives my car in the evening and he will leave the radio on, so it starts up when I turn the key in the morning. I much prefer silence in the morning or some chosen music from my media player.

    I too love quiet time, I get up before everyone else in our house and have extra time before work in a quiet house, the calm before the rush. I especially love getting up early on a Saturday or Sunday morning as the house stays quieter longer. Weird I know.

  3. Mervi

    Lately I’ve tried some meditation. Only a minute or three, but I think it works. It’s a moment of quiet, from outside and inside my head. Planning on upgrading to longer times in a while.

  4. Ashley Hook

    Yes! I feel especially sensitive in the beginning of my day too. I love waking up slow, saying prayers, keeping music/talking to a minimum and really letting natural sounds fill my space. So peaceful. I have recently been waking up later and feeling the “pull” to plug in sooner, so thank you for the reminder to create silent space!

    xo Ashley