I am currently reading a great book; Unclutter Your Life: transforming your physical, mental and emotional space by Katherine Gibson. This book is so packed with good ideas and action items I would highly recommend it.
Noise and Stress
One of the thoughts she had is how noise is stressing us so much and a constant basis. This one resonates so much with me, particularly as this summer the city of Ottawa waved the noise by-laws for a construction site near me that allowed them to work from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. including pile drivers. Needless to say there was not a lot of sleep going on during that wonderful month! Sleep deprivation can be linked to so many things I am not even going to try and enumerate them in this blog.
Cost of Noise
Gibson cites a Los Angeles Times article that says European researchers from fifteen countries estimate that excessive noise results in an annual loss of 2 percent of the annual GNP. What is the noise in your environment costing you? Continuous noise can lead to chronic stress that also robs you of productivity. As I write this, a neighbour’s leaf blower is seriously disrupting my focus on what I am doing and making clear thinking nearly impossible. In her book Gibson mentions how forty cities in California have banned these noisy, dusty, gas guzzling, and essentially useless as everything settles back down in place, blowers. Wow do I wish Ottawa would join the list.
Experts define “nuisance noise” as unwanted sound. That blower certainly qualifies as nuisance noise. So does the whirr of my computers and printer. The construction noise. An alert that just went off on my phone. Ringing cell phones (with an extremely annoying variety of ringtones) are everywhere. Think of how the noise of a shopping mall can be so tiring. I just got back from Ireland where the mall mantra seemed to be ‘louder is better.’ It was the most fatiguing place I ever shopped. Ever! The list goes on and on. We have come to accept it as normal.
Imagine hearing the birds sing or the breeze blowing through the trees. Remember the sound of waves washing a shore. We don’t hear so much of these with all the din around us. We need to start blocking our or masking the sounds that are costing us so much. Surround yourself with silence, as much as possible, frequently. Add quiet and soothing music to your work and home environment. Play recording of sounds that sooth you. One of my favourites is the sound of waves; it brings almost instant calmness.
Personal Serenity Chamber
Gibson goes on to report, “A new trend in home design includes a serenity chamber, a space dedicated to silence and meditation. The soul thrives on the absence of noise. When we tune out noise, we open ourselves to the gentle loveliness of nature’s music – and it is this music that energizes the soul and nurtures creativity.”
I am going to try and carve out such a place for myself. Maybe it is simply upgrading windows or my sound system. I don’t know the search is on. I would love to hear what you are doing to create your place that is free from nuisance noise. Please comment below.
Gibson compiled two pages of ideas for busting the effects of noise. If you would like me to share them with you please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org