Simplify by Cutting Down on Visual Noise

Noise isn’t always audible.

My sister doesn’t decorate her walls. She has maybe a picture or two up; probably gifts she feels obligated to display. I make fun of her (in jest). I threaten to sneak in and decorate while she’s sleeping. A shelf here, a photo collage there…I could make her blank white walls something beautiful.

But she resists. And I’m finally beginning to understand why.

Our world is noisy.

Recently it clicked with me that the noisiest parts of life usually don’t make a sound.

– scrolling.

– ads.

– clutter.

– inbox.

– all those digital photos you’ve been meaning to do something with.

Not only are our ears flooded with stimuli all day long (people, tv, music, podcasts), our eyes are flooded too. I read once about a woman who removes all the labels from products she buys in order to cut down on visual noise and have fewer surroundings screaming for her attention. I laughed at the time, but now I understand.

And now I understand my sister. (Well, sort of. 😉)

While carefully chosen items on the wall are soothing and inspiring to me, they are simply visual noise to her. She has wisely chosen to curate her home to inspire calm and simplicity in an otherwise chaotic world.

Our faith can be much the same.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the details of Christianity and start running ourselves in circles, spiritually. When, really, we simply need to remember to:

“Be still and know that I am God.” –Psalm 46:10

In what ways can you be intentional about the noise in your life? What can you tweak in order to cut down on the bombardment, whether it’s audible, visual, or spiritual? Maybe it’s time to undecorate your walls and enjoy the simplicity of your surroundings—physically and spiritually.

Leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts, and feel free to add how I can pray for you today! And if you haven’t already, scroll on down (or over) to sign up for my monthly newsletter and receive a free Parent’s Prayer Guide because I appreciate you! God bless!

8 thoughts on “Simplify by Cutting Down on Visual Noise

  1. COVID affected my routine and I have had trouble fitting in time to read great posts like these. Things used to be pretty regular for me: commute, breaks at work, time at the gym, down time and writing time… Being home just about every day has taken many of the catch moments and routine breaks away and I often can’t even fit in writing. Now that my son’s sports are picking back up, I hope to have alone time while I wait for him to read and write. Looking forward to gaining a new routine.

    1. I know what you mean about COVID interfering with routines…not easy. Being deliberate in creating a new routine is a great step though! Praying you find some quiet spaces in new ways this fall!! 🙂

  2. Visual noise is something that I have been trying to focus on minimizing for the past few years. 3 kids create a lot of visual noise.
    Our bedroom is the one place in the house that I am able to keep free of visual noise. It’s my quiet place.

    1. Yes, kids definitely contribute, haha!! But I love your approach—even having one room to retreat to in order to catch your breath is helpful. 🙂

  3. I’ve always insisted that when I don’t see things I forget about them and that is true. However this visual noise idea makes me think about the constant intrusion that visual stimuli can be. Not sure how to reconcile these, but I must give it some thought. Thank you Jessie and sister.

    1. I understand! I’m the same way…I generally have a few stacks of papers that need my attention, and if someone else puts them away I forget all about them, which isn’t good. But also, I sure do hate looking at those stacks…definitely something to ponder, haha!

  4. To combat the stress of visual noise and chaos I find it helpful to go behind closed doors and sit with God. Even five minutes can help me re-gain the strength and perspective needed to ‘get back out there’ and do life. Visual noise is worth pondering, but taking a few moments to reconnect to the ‘Vine’ that is Christ can give us strength to handle stress of all kinds more effectively. When we feel that overwhelm that comes with being surrounded by the noise we need to not only assess the reasons for that noise and adjust accordingly, as your sister does, haha, but we also need to get our eyes back on Jesus. He is our deep breath. Once our perspective is correctly placed we will feel more peaceful and clear headed, giving us the strength to deal with the noise. Thanks for the great post!

    1. You’re absolutely right! Hopefully reducing and being aware of visual noise will keep us from getting too overwhelmed in the first place, although Jesus is always our strength and should be our first go-to no matter our stress levels! 🙂 Thanks!

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