Meditation in the midst of mall mayhem

Macy%27s+beauty+department+is+filled+with+advertisements+for+make+up%2C+skincare%2C+and+perfume+directed+at+shoppers.+Molly+Geisinger+%2715

Macy’s beauty department is filled with advertisements for make up, skincare, and perfume directed at shoppers. Molly Geisinger ’15

Macy's beauty department is filled with advertisements for make up, skincare, and perfume directed at shoppers. Molly Geisinger '15
Macy’s beauty department is filled with advertisements for make up, skincare, and perfume directed at shoppers.
Molly Geisinger ’15

Those who identify with the saying “shopping is not for the faint of heart” do not need to worry any longer. Selfridges, a department store in England, helps ease the stress of shopping by dedicating its bottom floor to administering the “No Noise” initiative. In an effort to put this concept into effect, Selfridges launched its newly updated “Silence Room” and “Quiet Shop” for shoppers who want to take a break from the crowds, sights, and sounds of a typically loud and busy department store.
Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder, “created a ‘Silence Room’ where busy shoppers could retire from the whirl of bargains and the build up of energy,” according to nonoise.selfridges.com. Shoppers can enter the newly renovated soundproof room as long as they take off their shoes and leave all electronic devices outside in order to achieve a spiritual peace.
“We’re all suffering from overload, and we wanted to offer up a slice of silence as an experiment, but we didn’t want to do it in a heavy-handed way,” Selfridge’s Creative Director Alannah Weston said, according to Women’s Wear Daily.
There are even options for those who do not have enough time to visit the “Silence Room.” Shoppers can enter a guided ten minute meditation session with headphones and the help of staff members. This new idea not only helps eliminate sensory overload during some of the busiest times of the year, but the meditative aspect also helps shoppers’ health in the long run.
“It’s a very interesting concept to incorporate meditative practices in a busy department store,” Convent of the Sacred Heart Upper School science teacher and Namaste club moderator, Dr. Kristina Gremski said. “When I heard about it, I remembered my yoga instructors always encouraging us to do yoga in every moment. It seems kind of cool to think about doing yoga while clothes shopping.Would we make fewer impulsive purchases or be less judgmental of ourselves?”
Selfridges not only focuses on eliminating sound and calming the mind, but also toning down on visual overload. Along with the “Silence Room,” there is also the “Quiet Shop” where shoppers can buy popular products that are unlabeled. This includes anything from unbranded “Beats” headphones to label-less Heinz ketchup bottles.
Selfridges’ unique “No Noise” initiative not only frees peoples’ minds of brands and chaos, but also of potentially impulsive spending. Now, shoppers cannot only participate in a movement that is good for their health, but also their wallet.
“I think that there is a sensory overload in malls and department stores today and because there are so many different brands to choose from, it is very overwhelming,” sophomore Sarah Banker said. “I think that everyone today is so focused on brand names and labels that it is important and effective for us to meditate and focus on simplistic things.”
 
– Molly Geisinger, Staff Writer