I love talking, but I never realized just how ingrained the habit of verbalizing every little thought that popped into my head was until I stopped talking for five days. I now have greater respect for those who choose to remain silent when there are so many pointless things to say.

The first day was the worst. I had to consciously stop myself from talking, and I ended up verbalizing my emotions four times (in four totally different ways.) The second day was WAY easier. So were the subsequent ones. I ended up going a total of four and a half days without speaking a single word. It was a strange, amazing experience.

Not having the option to use words to express myself forced me to converse using non-verbal communication, which was one aspect of public speaking I’d been working on for a while. It also allowed me to contemplate how I lived my life, forcing me to remain rooted in the present and make the most of every moment, be it good or bad. Finally, it taught me the importance of not stressing about the things that are out of my control.

The only downside was that I was so worried I’d slip up I spent the entire week in a constant state of stress. But the positive ramifications of this challenge far outweighed this single negative repercussion. In other words, it was AWESOME!