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Why Noise Hurts Our Health and What You Can Do

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.

Read more: Community, Health & Safety, Life

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).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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The Power of Sound

How to Manage Your Personal Soundscape for a Vital, Productive, and healthy Life.buy now

13 comments

+ add your own
5:48AM PDT on Apr 17, 2013

thanks

10:02AM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

ty

1:58AM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

Thanks for the article, a really interesting

6:24PM PDT on Apr 27, 2012

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

10:52PM PDT on Apr 13, 2012

Noise can be distracting...stressful

3:19PM PST on Jan 16, 2012

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

4:02PM PDT on Aug 20, 2010

"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.

3:58PM PDT on Aug 20, 2010

"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.

6:44AM PDT on Aug 14, 2010

Very enlightening, thanks for the ideas.

9:02AM PDT on Aug 13, 2010

We have 18 dogs in 7 houses, in half a block and they're all living in front of us. The noise when the owners let all the dogs out at once can be deafening. The 7 houses all have adjoining fences and the dogs see each other through the fences and go wild.
I've talked with each owner, which helps for about 3 days, I've called dog control... they only give a warning... I bought a sonic bird house, I think I need 4 more (at 69.95 ea.) to make it work.
We've got our townhouse up for sale and decided to move to Vancouver Island.
That is our solution.... follow our dream, now.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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One quibble with the article (it is a good one...) there is a difference between "taking charge" and…

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