Why Noise Hurts Our Health and What You Can Do

What is the noise level in your home? It is estimated that noise levels in the United States increased more than 11 percent between 1986 and 1996.

Prolonged exposure to noise can cause impaired intellectual performance and learning ability, higher blood pressure, and lowered tolerance of frustration.

Individual differences in response to noise are striking, but the negative impact of noise is usually because of two reasons. Understanding what these reasons are will help you have a less stressful response to noise pollution and guide you to make positive noise choices.

Adverse reactions to noise arise predominantly from two factors:
1. The perceived inability to control your exposure, and

2. Translating the noise to be threatening important personal needs or goals.

In both instances, perceiving noise as a noxious quality of the environment, while often subjectively based, may still trigger stress-related effects.

In regard to #1, work out what you can and cannot control when it comes to noise exposure. Make a list. Work out compromises with family members regarding the volume level of television and music. Pay attention to noises that bother you, such as from appliances (as when the refrigerator runs). Maybe the appliance needs a tune up? Problem solve.

The second adverse reaction to noise relates to how you feel threatened by the noise. Again, prioritize the noise problems and address those that are the most threatening to you first. For example, if your spouse leaves the television on at night and it interferes with your ability to sleep, you need to work out a solution with him or her. Or, for another example, if one child in your household canít do their homework when the other is practicing the drums, a schedule needs to be implemented that will allow for both.

Adapted from The Power of Sound, by Joshua Leeds (Healing Arts Press, 2001). Copyright (c) 2001 by Joshua Leeds. Reprinted by permission of Inner Tradtions.
Adapted from The Power of Sound, by Joshua Leeds (Healing Arts Press, 2001).

14 comments

Johnso R.
Past Member 11 months ago

That’s a nice site you people are carrying out there. improve vocal range,

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Tammy Baxter
Tammy B4 years ago

thanks

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Aud Nordby
Aud nordby4 years ago

ty

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for the article, a really interesting

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Victor C.
Past Member 5 years ago

I hate haate hate the ghetto speakers!!!!!!!!Boom Boom Boom all day makes me wanna shoot somebody!!!!!!!

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Pat W.
Pat W5 years ago

Noise can be distracting...stressful

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Butterfly K.
Butterfly K5 years ago

I'm lucky I live in a very quiet area-the bush & try to meditate to get that extra bit of silence, great article

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Ann Eastman
Ann Eastman6 years ago

"Content" of noise can be an important variable. I have a difficult time staying in a room when a TV is turned to "action" movies- the sounds of brakes squealing, people screaming, sounds of flesh being struck, gunshots, etc, trigger a very definite stress response in me.

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Ann Eastman
Ann Eastman6 years ago

"Content" of noise can be an important variable. I have a difficult time staying in a room when a TV is turned to "action" movies- the sounds of brakes squealing, people screaming, sounds of flesh being struck, gunshots, etc, trigger a very definite stress response in me.

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Kerrie G.
Kerrie G6 years ago

Very enlightening, thanks for the ideas.

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