I don’t know why, but I’m very sensitive to noise. This can be any level of noise – bar noise, shopping mall noise, or just someone chewing too loudly or dragging their feet noise. It’s all noise to me! I get caught up in it, it physically hurts my ears, and I get cranky, annoyed, and miserable. In short, noise makes me negative.
I actually have noise-cancelling earmuffs that I used at a doggy daycare I worked at, and I use those things every day while I’m working at home or the library, or when I’m doing something that is too loud for me, such as cutting the lawn, sawing, or walking my ever-barking dog.
I’m not kidding about noises bothering me. A while back, my husband and I went to watch an action movie. It was the latest Superman – Man of Steel. About half way through the movie I had to leave because it was too noisy and chaotic for me. It was making me ill!
I find that if I’m really trying to concentrate, noises bother me even more. But, relaxing, enjoying nature and just doing nothing are all times that noises can still bother me – especially certain bodily noises or footsteps.
Even today a guy came around a corner on my walk and he was walking so loud! I knew it was ridiculous to be annoyed at his walking, but the sound drove me nuts.
I’ve Always Been Sensitive To Noise
This isn’t new for me. I remember being in grade 9 and listening to the guy behind me tap his pencil on his desk. I gave him a dirty look, but he kept doing it, so I grabbed it from him and broke it.
I’m not proud of that. Breaking the pencil was obviously overboard. But I couldn’t stand the noise anymore. I also can’t stand sniffing, foot tapping, whistling (I hate whistling!), and all kinds of other everyday noises.
Another sound I can’t stand is scratching noises. Nobody likes the nails on the chalkboard noise, but for me – it actually hurts me to hear it. Same with a pencil. I can’t stand the sound of a pencil on paper, and it physically hurts me to listen to it. It’s like my ears are bleeding – that’s how painful it is.
There Is A Term For Extreme Sound Sensitivity
Misophonia is the hatred of sound. If you are someone or know someone who gets angry over little sounds, then you should read this article. It explains what it is and gives you some insight into how people with this condition can’t help but get upset when they hear noises that others could care less about.
While doctors are not sure why it starts, apparently it is not an issue with your ears, which is what I always thought. I just thought I had super hearing! It is more neurological than anything. They say it is likely related to how sound affects your brain.
This video actually captures what it feels like well. I’ve actually got myself this worked up over these kinds of noises before.
I should say that it hasn’t affected my relationships like he describes. Yes, I often ask my husband to stop making some noise that is grating in my head, but usually I can tune him out. I imagine it is because I am with him so much. But if I’m frustrated or in a quiet room with him, I definitely notice and get irritated with even the little noises that he can’t help. But, it’s my problem, not his.
Can You Eliminate The Issue?
One of the treatments I found was to add noise around you. That works.
I usually put a fan on at night because if I don’t, all I can hear are cars and my husband breathing. The fan helps me fall asleep. Also, if I’m not using my noise-cancelling headphones, I listen to some sort of background noise, such as a thunderstorm or rainfall. Water really seems to help cancel out annoying noises.
In fact, I always use the rainfall noise for my subliminal messages – which I use daily, and it really helps me focus on my work rather than the kids playing outside – or some other noise that seems to demand my attention and annoyance.
Another one of the therapies mentioned is Hypnotherapy, and when I looked it up – I couldn’t believe that I found a session for it on one of my favorite hypnosis download sites. Click here to see the page for it. I was surprised when I saw it had been purchased over 1280 times because – honestly – I don’t meet a lot of people with this issue!
So of course I had to try it!
Unfortunately, I didn’t like it.
Obviously I like hypnosis, as it’s helped me get over a really tough time in my life (you can read about that here), but this session annoyed me more than anything. Worse, my annoyance with noises has intensified after the session because I’m so focused on it!
The session started out ok. I was listening to him talk about what noise sensitivity is all about, and I was shaking my head ‘yes’ as he was talking, but then he got into the hypnosis session and all I could hear was his swallowing, breathing, and some other occasional noises of movement in the background.
Now, I don’t know if it is just because I hear things strongly or if it was because I was focused on being sensitive to noises, but he sounded like he was gulping, and on occasion almost burping or hiccuping.
It was so annoying that I actually missed a part of the session that apparently was the key to getting rid of sound sensitivity! So, the rest of the hypnosis session was him talking about going quick in reverse through the noise and then fast forward through the noise, and I had no idea what the heck he was talking about.
Moreover, there were breaks in between his voice (I suppose to let us imagine what he wanted us to imagine) where you could hear him swallowing and a few times almost sighing, and then there were breaks where I thought my MP3 player had unplugged because there was no noise at all! That was even more distracting because when his voice did come back on, it was loud!
While I recommend self-hypnotherapy for other things, I don’t think this is an area of issue that can benefit from it. That said, I will try it again. Maybe it was my mood. Maybe it was my expectations. But, as I stand now – I don’t find it valuable for helping eliminate noise issues when all you can hear is noise in your earphones.
For me, it is all about turning my focus somewhere else or covering up the noise. Sometimes I can’t help but focus on the noise, and that’s why I have noise-cancelling earphones. But, if I can turn my focus to something else, then often I can let that noise go and get on with my day. And if neither works, as the title says – noise makes me negative.