May. 30th, 2012

sakurablossom: a ginger girl sitting on the green grass (green beneath me)
[personal profile] sakurablossom
Hearing is probably the sense that creates the most challenges for the HSP. If you happen to catch sight of something that causes negative stimulation, you can always close your eyes. However, it is much more difficult to tune out deleterious noises. With the advent of the now ubiquitous cell phones that ring everywhere, loud music blaring from powerful speakers, and honking from angry drivers, the sensitive person seems to be trapped in a cacophony of clamor. The cumulative effect of such grating sounds can create severe anxiety for the HSP.

To mask the jarring sounds of modern, urban life, you may want to play soft music in the background at home and at work. Listen to whatever type of music calms you down, from classical to jazz. If you don't like having soft music in the background, you may want to buy a white noise machine, which helps drown out startling noises by emitting a steady, soothing sound. The hum of a soothing fan, air conditioner, or air purifier also masks loud, erratic noises. An air purifier may soothe your nerves while cleaning indoor air pollution.

Whenever you stay in a motel or hotel you can reduce annoying city noise by turning on the air conditioner or fan. You can also take a small white noise machine with you when you travel if you don't want to rely on a fan or air conditioner.

You can also periodically listen to a relaxation or a guided visualization tape or CD, which is quite efficacious for soothing your nerves. Many bookstores sell relation tapes and CDs or you can visit for more information. It's very helpful to take a headset with you when you venture out into the noisy world. You may want to carry an array of soothing tapes, including guided relaxation, classical music, or other spiritually uplifting sounds. Make sure that you take extra batteries with you so you're not stranded in a sea of sonic strife with no solution.

Another effective method to reduce noise is to wear earplugs. Some HSPs may find wearing earplugs uncomfortable, but if you can tolerate earplugs, it is a most effective means to mask irritating noises. Some people prefer wax earplugs, while others find the foam ones more comfortable. In extremely noisy situations you may want to wear earmuff-style headsets that construction workers use. These headsets cover the entire ear and some HSPs find them less intrusive than having to insert ear plugs. There are also noise-canceling headsets available that use sound waves to cancel out ambient noise. While these headsets may lessen high frequency sounds, such as airplanes or refrigerators, they do not appear to lessen noise from talking any better than ear plugs or earmuff-style headsets.

An audiologist can fit you for a custom made set of earplugs. The advantage of these specially constructed earplugs is that they will fit easily into your ear canal. When you really want to escape from the stimuli-saturated world, you can simply close your eyes and meditate wearing either earplugs, a regular headset, or an earmuff-style headset. In extremely noisy situations you can even wear earplugs while listening to your headset or wear an earmuff-style headset over earplugs.

Have you ever visited a recording studio? When the door to the studio is shut, you can't hear any outside noises. There are sound engineers who can help you sound proof your house or office, creating an HSP paradise of peace and tranquility. You may want to buy double-paned windows or heavy curtains to mask outside noises. Most importantly, the HSP has to be vigilant in finding quiet living and work environments. If you live in a noisy city, it's best that your home or office is facing a quiet backyard rather than a noisy street. When traveling, always ask the hotel or motel clerk for a quiet room on the top floor in the back.

Don't feel embarrassed using the techniques described in this section, such as wearing earplugs in public or requesting a quiet hotel room. Your main concern is taking good care of yourself to create inner peace.

What, me worry about noise? Not when I'm prepared!

The Highly Sensitive Person's Survival Guide - Ted Zeff, PH.D. (pg 36-38)


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How to thrive when the world overwhelms you