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Is Noise Pollution Contributing to Your Stress (and What to Do About It)?

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  • Is Noise Pollution Contributing to Your Stress (and What to Do About It)?

    What do traffic, construction, barking dogs and loud music (from cars or nightclubs) have in comm on? They're all sources of noise pollution, which is essentially any sound that "lacks agreeable musical quality or is noticeably unpleasant,' according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

    Noise pollution, for instance the sounds of traffic that you can hear from your bedroom, is annoying, to be sure, but it can also be harmful to your health.

    According to the National Institutes of Health, some 65 million Americans are exposed to noise levels that can get in the way of work and sleep, and 25 million people are at risk of noise-related health problems.

    It’s easy to understand, then, why the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) says that everyone, no matter what your age, is at risk from noise pollution. The most obvious risk is noise-induced hearing loss, particularly when you are exposed to too much loud noise over a period of time, but there are other risks as well.

    Studies have shown noise pollution to be a major cause of stress for both children and adults, leading to stress-related diseases along with insomnia, aggression and irritability.

    'We live in a society that is often quite noisy. And most of us at some deep level naturally gravitate toward silence,' says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of training of Sedona Training Associates. 'This can create a lot of inner tension. Our need or craving for silence clashes with both our internal and external noise, creating a desire to either drown out the noise or get away from it.'

    If you’re wondering just how loud noise has to be to qualify as harmful, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that 70 dB is the safe average for a 24-hour day. For comparison, normal talking is 40 dB and a ringing phone is 60 dB. Meanwhile, an air conditioner is 75 dB, heavy traffic is 90 dB and a typical nightclub is 110 dB.

    Reducing Noise Pollution on a Personal Level

    Many people opt for some light music or white noise to block out noise pollution that they can't control. A more effective solution, however, is to use The Sedona Method to let go of the emotional feelings that noise produces in you.

    “There is a simple thing you can do to help you both with inner and outer noise pollution -- allow yourself to welcome whatever you're hearing as best you can, and let go of any resistance to what is being heard,” Dwoskin says. “The more you simply allow yourself to listen without resistance the less the noise grates on you.”

    “Often if you're willing to just allow sounds to come and go as they do without any true change in the volume, they naturally fade into the background,” he continues. “And as you do this you will notice the silence that is here before, during and after every sound.”

    There is also quite a bit you can do on a personal level to reduce noise pollution in your own home, and also for others around you. The most obvious is to keep your own noise to a minimum level in respect of those around you. Then, to protect your own home from noise pollution, try:
    • Turning down the volume on everything (radios, TVs, headphones, etc.)
    • Muting your TV during the commercials, or turning your TV off altogether
    • Installing heavy curtains and rugs to help with sound-proofing (sealing air leaks will also help)
    • Choosing quieter home appliances
    • Using sound-blocking headphones


    Finally, for times when you need to escape the noise of your regular environment, take a drive to a rural or wilderness area and spend some time in the quiet of nature.
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  • #2
    These advices are great!
    Do what you do when you are doing it, and don't do what you are not doing when you are not doing it!

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