Noise sensitivity, or misophonia as it is technically known, is more than just a mild dislike of different noises. It’s a condition that can cause severe anxiety, severe anger and heavy depression in sufferers. It can be something that others might consider hardly anything, like the noise of a person chewing. To the sufferer, it’s unbearable torture. Here are several tips to help you overcome your noise sensitivity.
1. Know What Triggers Your Noise Sensitivity
Only you can tell what bothers you to a disturbing extent. Different people have different triggers. Watch your reactions carefully; do you feel unreasonable anger, strange anxiety and inexplicable sadness when you hear certain noises? Do you feel angry enough to get physical with someone just because they smacked their lips? List down your triggers and the level of your reaction to them. This is the starting point to overcoming your noise sensitivity.
2. Find Out What Role Your Emotions Play
Sometimes our noise sensitivity is exaggerated when we’re stressed, angry, or dislike the ‘noise-maker’. For example, your feelings for the other person matter. If you thoroughly dislike someone, every little noise they make will trigger strong reactions in you. However, if you like someone, you will be able to tolerate the same noises much better. Try it out.
3. Find Out What’s Missing In Your Life
Loneliness, isolation and a sense of purposelessness in life can increase all forms of intolerance and sensitivity. Change your habits a little; try a creative hobby, learn to play a musical instrument, and go out and meet people. Do this for a few weeks and check on your noise sensitivity.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
Regular physical exercise releases a stream of feel-good hormones into your body, which not only keep your stress levels down but keep you happier. A positive and happy frame of mind is not easily irritated. Your noise sensitivity will reduce and you will have the strength to shrug it off when you exercise.
Meditation, yoga and deep-breathing can help bring down your stress levels dramatically. The happy byproduct will be a large reduction on your noise focus.
6. Learn To Refocus Your Hearing
Selective hearing can help drown out the noises that trigger your sensitivity. Several techniques are useful in this regard such as meditation, focus deviation techniques, staring at a wall and so on. Your ears may register the noise but by focusing elsewhere intensely, you can ensure that your brain does not register the noise. This results in you being able to tolerate the noise without reacting the usual way.
7. Try Hypnosis
You can use hypnosis not only to help tune the sounds out but also to change the way you feel about them. Find a skilled hypnotist who can help you overcome your noise sensitivity.
8. Try Self-Hypnosis At Home
The point is to relax yourself in familiar surroundings to the extent where your conscious mind is less aware and your subconscious mind is receptive to suggestions. Repeat to yourself over and over that you are no longer sensitive to your particular trigger. Use any prop that helps you, such as a recorded message you can play over and over. Do this every day, before going to bed and just before you wake up. These are the best times to input messages into the subconscious.
9. Consider Working From Home
If specific noises at your workplace trigger you to the extent that your productivity and daily peace of mind are affected, consider working from home. This is a solution that has worked well for many people suffering from noise sensitivity. In the privacy of your own home, sensitivity decreases unless you live with major triggers.
10. Surround Yourself With Pleasant Sounds
If you absolutely want to avoid hearing the sound of your neighbor’s water faucet leaking fat drops of water on stone, install some wind chimes. Or, think up some pleasant noise alternatives such as a talking bird, perhaps. Think in terms of a musical water fountain, a chiming clock, background music and so on to put you in a peaceful frame of mind while drowning out other noise.
11. Ask People To Help Keep The Triggers Down
If you have an understanding family and friend circle, talk to them about your problem. If they are unknowingly triggering your sensitivity, ask them to stop while they’re with you. As long as you explain that what you have is a bone fide condition and not just an anger management issue, your family and friends will try to help you.
12. Fix Things That Cause You To React
Look around for all the things you can fix; does that squeaking door bother you? Oil the hinges. If it’s a faucet dripping water, fix the washer. Tighten screws, nuts and bolts to fix anything that creates noises to which you’re sensitive.