The Blog

As a newspaper columnist, Nancy Devlin, Ph.D. has written over 700 articles on subjects related to education and parenting. Welcome to her Classroom!

Quiet Time, Quality Time, Just Hanging Around Time

The best time for thought and problem solving is “quiet time”.  Most of us have the solutions to our problems within ourselves.  We need to take the time to let the mind function free of distraction in order for it to use its healing and problem-solving power.

We have two sides to the brain: right and left.  Most of us are right-handed and are left-brain thinkers.  Language capabilities reside in the left brain and we tend to cater to it and to neglect the other side of our brain.  It is thought that much non-verbal, artistic and creative potential resides in the right brain.  Our society bombards us with incessant verbal information, and we rarely create “quiet time” for the right brain.  It is time we start.

Quiet meditation, saying mantras, yoga, conjuring up pleasant mental images, listening to soft music are all techniques people use to free their minds to do deeper thinking and to find solutions to their problems.  Unfortunately, most of us feel guilty if we take time off to do these things.  We pre-program every minute of our time and feel that we have to keep moving if we are going to show results.  If we do have time to relax, we waste it in front of the television set or listening to frantic music.

Most of us do have solitary time but we have to look for it.  The idea is to discover and to use this time constructively.  The largest block of solitary time for most people is travel to and from work.  Driving in an automobile by itself is a wonderful opportunity to just let your mind relax.  It sometimes helps to put on soft music.  When you relax you will be surprised at howmany times yu will that “Aha” experience.  “So that is what they really meant when they say that.  Now I know what to do.”  This does not negatively affect your driving.  You can still concentrate on that.

Some people have found ways to give up even this solitary time by using their cell phones.  Turn the cell off when you are driving.  Not only is it a driving hazard, it takes away the little quiet time you might have.

There is another area in our lives which has become complicated because of time.  We feel guilty about this especially if we are non-cutodial divorced parents who have limited visiting rights.  We have therefore developed what is called “Quality Time”.  Quality time with children requires that we plan something new, exciting, stimulating and memorable for all the time we are with them.  This attitude places a great burden not only on the adults but the children.  Let us try going back to just “Hanging Around Time”.  Doing nothing special but doing it together.

“Just Hanging Around Time” could include baking a cake, going food shopping, working in the garden together, reading separate books together.  Time spent, not doing anything in particular, but feeling good that the other person is in the same house or room with you.  The other person could even be doing his own thing and the interaction could be minimal.

The idea is to stop or at least slow down the frantic pace of our lives.  We will not be wasting time we will be using it wisely and well.




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