This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Noise — its many sources, its surprising impacts, and the options we have for relating to it more consciously.
From the difficulty of escaping noise in our modern environments to the effect it can have on our health, happiness, and quality of life, we talk about the underestimated toll that noise can take on our bodies and minds.
We explore the important role quiet spaces have in supporting our wellbeing, and the opportunities we have for regulating the noise in our midst.
Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you make more discerning choices about the kinds of noise you choose to tolerate — or eliminate — in your own world.
“Noise” Episode Highlights
Pilar shares her impression that our tolerance for noise has increased as the result of our constant exposure to it — at a cost
The problem of background noise, layered noise, and more — how it dulls our sensitivity and adds to our stress burden
Dallas talks about his experience using a sensory deprivation chamber
How noise contributes to chronic low-level stress and fatigue
The distracting impacts of noise on cognitively demanding tasks in the workplace
Mitigating noise in your environments
What’s actually going on in your brain when it’s not being overstimulated; the power of the Default Mode Network (DMN)
Finding margins of silence in our day, and the reparative effect that can have on our lives
Consider embarking on on a “sound diet.” Eliminate optional sound (whether music, media, podcasts, chatter, or phone conversation) from one or more experiences where you’d usually include it (such as exercise, commute, bathing, shopping, work, errands, housework, or entertainment). Take off your headphones. Turn off the radio or TV, your playlists. Turn off things that buzz and beep. Make the conscious choice to limit or eliminate your intake of sound as you go about your life, and notice what the experience is like. If you share space with someone else and this presents an issue for them, have a conversation about it.
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- “Silence is Golden” via Experience Life Magazine
- “Quiet, Please” via Experience Life Magazine
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cane
- “Parents Push to Quiet Roar From Trains Near Queens School” via The New York Times
- “The Quietest Places in the World” via American Scientist
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