Sound is one of the most powerful elements of the human experience. Different forms of sound that we hear every day influence us more than we would know: the disturbing noise of an angry mob inducing anger, fear, or helplessness; or a calm classical sonata inspiring self improvement thoughts. Our response to sound is both conscious and unconscious. Pleasant sound boosts our endocrine system and releases good, relaxing hormones which make us feel ecstatic whereas noise makes us react in hidden physiological ways in an exact opposite and negative manner. You may not realize this, but if you stay anxious or angry, it just might be because of the sounds you hear every day.
Our reaction to sound goes back to the chain of human evolution, when our ancestors reacted to and relied upon their surrounding noises for their safety and survival. A low growl from a predator or the ear-splitting crack of thunder meant danger, and our bodies reacted accordingly. Adrenaline rushes, higher awareness, blood flow away from the digestive system and to the limbs – these bodily states combined together put us in a fight-or-flight mode. Although we don’t have to face all those dangers in our lives now, but our bodies still react to sound and produce appropriate reactions.
Fast forward to the present day, we have managed to put too many sources of unwanted noise around us and have yet to evolve out of our subconscious, involuntary physiological reactions to it. Long lines of vehicles honking behind you at a signal, wailing sirens next to your homes, the constant whirring of the fan, the wall clock not-so-silently ticking life away: we have created an ocean of artificial sounds around us which adds a great deal to the huge amount of stress already dumped over us every day.
Now while we cannot control the traffic outside our homes, we most certainly can take small steps to procure some silence in our lives.
Listen to the silence.
Use your leisure time to read a book or solve a crossword puzzle instead of browsing the internet with the TV on in the background. This will not only help you to harness the power of silence, but will also allow for the inception of self improvement thoughts.
Bond with Mother Nature.
Listening to natural sounds such as the chirping of birds in the morning or the sound of a faraway cricket brings about immediate positive changes in your body’s hormonal system, releasing an ample amount of dopamine and hence makes you feel relaxed.
The sound of silence.
Silence, when given a chance, will surprise you with its ability to spark your inner creativity and self improvement thoughts. Try experimenting with total silence instead of background music while you work and find out for yourselves how impactful the experience can be.
Take a respite from electronics.
For a weekend each month, when the work pressure is not so much and no important calls are expected, switch off all your electronic devices and retreat into the stress-free silence born out of the expiry of constant dings and rings and beeps and whirrs. Have conversations with loved ones, spend time in a park, go for a long walk, and you will experience the magic of silence.
The above pointers provide some quick fixes you can take to notice immediate relief. For more permanent solutions for relishing in an aura of a healthy, silent home, you will need to make a couple of changes.
- Use thick rugs, carpets, and other sound-absorbent decorative items which will captivate all the stray, unwanted noises and provide a calm atmosphere in your home. Using thick and textured multi-folded drapes for your windows will not only make for an excellent sound sink, it will also give the house a touch of royal finesse.
- Investing in plush, soft furniture like leather-covered sofas which sink in when you sit on them will not only give the house a Victorian elegance and class, it will also help curb stray and useless noise in the home.
Photo Source: geralt