It isn’t until you sit in silence do you realise how much noise and stimulation is around you day in day out. Then you begin to realise how much energy it takes to deal with it coming from all sides. It became so clear to me again over this last long weekend how much noise and stimulation there normally is during the week.
how much noise and stimulation is around you
It was so delightfully quiet up here in the hills of Perth without it all. The sounds were different. Softer, calmer, and quieter. All you heard was the odd leaf blower or the laughter of children playing outdoors. You could hear the gentle breeze through the trees and the birds chirping away.
Because once you stop and get off the treadmill of the busyness of your ‘normal’ life, you become aware of how much noise and stimulation there is all around you. And you begin to feel how it affects you physically, mentally and emotionally.
It is exhausting constantly feeling bombarded by all the stimuli from the radio, TV, social media, the hum of the fridge, ticking of clocks, pings from mobile phones, planes flying overhead, traffic noise, building sites and billboards to name a few. Everywhere you look there is something trying to catch your attention. It is repetitive and continuous. And of course, we jump. We can’t help ourselves.
And for everyone, it varies. Because each of us is built differently, each one of us has a diverse threshold level. Some people have the ability to be able to switch off from it all or not allow it to affect them. Others find it incredibly difficult to be in the world with all the noise and stimulation. For those of you who are more sensitive, you will be far more susceptible and attuned to it all and the world around you.
how are you affected?
Whichever way you are, it is important to have time out from the constant and continuous barrage of it all. Your body, mind and soul need time out to rejuvenate and refresh. They need time to come back into harmony making you feel alive and vital again. Because we have become so used to all this jangle of noise and stimulation, we have become used to how we feel. We are immune as to how it is affecting us. It has become the norm.
However, what you may not realise is how much it is affecting you, no matter your tolerance or intolerance. And each of you will manifest stress in different ways. At some point or other, you will all experience sensory overload.
Here is what you may be experiencing: irritability, low tolerance, easily annoyed, snappy, tired, exhausted, body aches and pains, headaches, feeling rushed, overwhelmed, over thinking, over doing, over everything. You don’t know how to stop and feel guilty when you do so. Concentrating is difficult affecting your decision-making process and recall capacity. Because you have too much on your plate, it is easy to make mistakes and forget where you have put things. You run late for appointments or forget them all together. I have done that. How embarrassing!
No matter where you turn, there is something to do, something to see, or something to have. It is never ending. You are forever striving, keeping up and pursuing goals. It is simply not enough to be who you are, have what you already have. The noise drives you to want more.
ways of handling noise and stimulation
There are, of course, a myriad of ways of removing yourself from it all for a while. Here are some suggestions to get you thinking about how can you switch off:
- going to yoga
- walks in nature
- swimming laps
- having fun with loved ones and friends
- turning off your laptop off
- switching off from social media so you stop feeling the need to respond and be in the thick of it all the time.
Is there a FOMO (fear of missing out?)
- creativity: art, sewing, photography
- listening to soft music
- going on a retreat
- finding your sacred space
Find something that suits you best and is accessible to you. Plan quiet time into not only your day but also your week and year. If you find it difficult to find the time and stick to it, make an appointment with yourself as you would with your doctor, dentist, friend or client. Above all, it is about giving yourself a chance to disengage from it all and to recoup. Watch how different your life becomes.
To help get on your way, here is a list of guided meditations I have created to help you chill out.
As Mahatma Gandhi said all those years ago: ‘Noise does not cancel out noise. Silence does.’
Love to hear how you disengage from noise. Namaste.
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Chantal Vanderhaeghen is an intuitive guide, small business owner, creator of an international skincare brand, passionate philanthropist and meditation, reiki, tapping and mindfulness teacher. She works with women ready to make changes, shatters perceptions of beauty and perfection, and inspires people ready to become mindful entrepreneurs. She lives with her talented man in the Perth Hills and can be found online at www.unfoldyoufreedom.com.au
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