Are you sound sensitive?
As an empath, I know that many of us have an enhanced startle response and are super-reactive to intense sensory input. We can react strongly to sound, taste, odors, and textures.
Excessive input, such as loud, toxic noises can overload us. In response, we can unconsciously wall off our sensitivities for protection and walk around defensive or shut down.
But just the right amount of stimulation and beauty can feed our soul.
Science has shown that excessive noise can shorten your lifespan by increasing stress, insomnia, anxiety, agitation, hypertension, and heart disease. Being chronically exposed to toxic noise can cause our stress hormones to rise, which decreases our immunity and peace of mind.
For myself and many empaths, toxic noise penetrates and shocks our bodies. When a siren passes by, I always put my hands over my ears because the sound of the siren goes right through my system.
During one of my workshops, a participant said, “We endured two years of horrific renovations in our New York apartment. It made my husband and I exhausted and sick. Plus, to cope with stress, I’d binge on carbs, which wasn’t healthy.” This is an extreme example of toxic noise, but there are many more common examples, including traffic, sirens, barking dogs, loud televisions, and partying neighbors, which can all feel like an invasion of our serenity.
It’s important that we, as empaths, or anyone with sound sensitivity, honor this part of ourselves and do our best to create an environment that is quiet and peaceful.
When our environment has lower levels of sensory input, our brain can recover its cognitive clarity. Spending time alone in silence allows our mind to relax. Creating periods of quiet allows us to recover from the intensity of our fast-paced world.
We may not realize how much the toxicity of noise drains us. There are moments we can barely hear ourselves talk, let alone listen to our intuition. In response, we may unconsciously wall ourselves off from life, walking around in defense mode or completely shut down.
Here are seven strategies from my book, The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, to help us cope with excessive noise:
>> Identify the sound offenders and develop a plan to approach them.
>> Get sound-blocking ear buds or white noise/sound machines, which let you hear the ocean or rain or other sublime moods of nature.
>> Meditate to calm your physiology.
>> Observe a “no loud noise” rule in your home.
>> Visualize a luminous, golden egg of light surrounding you that repels the toxicity of loud noises.
>> Create healthy boundaries with sound-offenders. (Try to keep your calm with neighbors but be consistent with the boundaries you want to set.)
>> Be in nature to replenish your energy and ground yourself.
Plan at least five minutes of silence a few days a week. This is sacred time when no one can intrude. For empaths and those with sound sensitivity, quiet is a balm for the soul. It lets us have time to do the deep processing of life that we yearn for, and it provides open space for our creativity to roam and soar.