Turn Down the LOUD

woman with hands over ears
Too Loud!

“Sensitivity to sound can be both a symptom and a cause of anxiety.” 


Hypersensitivity to sounds when in an anxious state?  Oh yes – nailed it!  That’s me.  Whether it’s the metal-on-metal scraping sound that makes me tense up whilst unloading silverware from the dishwasher (not kidding) or the screeching, high pitched sounds of car collisions in movies, tv shows – I am an HSP (highly sensitive person).  

Violent noises aside, being sensitive is a yin/yang kind of thing.  I don’t mind that my HSP-self can be thunderstruck by beauty and kindness – prompting intense emotion and mountains of empathy.  Feeling deeply?  That’s me.

Anxiety disorders are common in the DNA gumbo that defines my family. Result? I’m forever keeping an eye out for resources that mesh nicely with my chief coping tools:  exercise, meditation, and mindfulness. 

I’m grateful to have been both a recipient of care and then professionally, a source of support for others.  The Calm Clinic article caught my eye because of the straightforward attention it pays to sounds as anxiety triggers.  Not all inclusive – but these four buckets seem like apt categories to me, summarizing the challenge:

  1. Noise Triggers
  2. Quick Startle Reflex
  3. Irritation
  4. Stress-related Tension

Hypersensitivity is fluid and ever-changing, but it IS possible to manage it. My greatest nemesis lately? 


On my tombstone the words “Thanks for turning down the volume” should appear.  (But to be fully forthcoming, it should probably say “Turn the *%X#!@* sound down!” because that’s the true-to-life delivery of my, um, request.)  However, cussing on a tombstone is probably a no, no. Hubby will need to noodle on that once I’m gone.

Mellow Vicki – who appears, on occasion 😉 – might not mind the cacophony so much…but it will depend on my mood, state of mind and being.  If I’m relaxed and not solving the world’s problems in my errant, wayward thoughts, sure – turn the volume up.  No prob.  But it DEPENDS. (See #1, 2, 3 and 4 above – my bugaboos.)

Am I alone?  Chime in (see me smiling?) with your thoughts, support, heckling. I can take it.  Just don’t shout.


Vicki 😊

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

15 responses to “Turn Down the LOUD”

  1. An Audience of One Avatar
    An Audience of One

    I think somehow you got into my head and did some observing! 😆 I’ve been better lately (hormones more balanced), but as you said, it’s fluid.

    And there’s ALWAYS this: “If I’m relaxed and not solving the world’s problems in my errant, wayward thoughts, sure – turn the volume up. No prob. But it DEPENDS.”

    Very interesting that feeling emotions intensely is a part of that. I didn’t know it was all related!

    Thank you for sharing this, Vicki. As to the TV, next time, just tell your hubby Kendra asked him to turn the *#>}\ TV down. She said she could hear it all the way at her place. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhhhhhh…..can you hear me laughing??? Yes — I’ll do that — thanks for ‘taking one for the team’ and being the crabby voice FOR ME. I’ll take it, girlfriend! And thanks for your input about noises and emotions…good to know we’re not alone, eh? xo ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. An Audience of One Avatar
        An Audience of One


        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for touching on this. I have a some nerve damage in one ear. I’ve long had to waffle back and forth from turning up music so that I could make out the words, but then turning things down because I find that loud noises bring on unexplained tension and anxiety. For example, we got a new car last year, the feature I love about it the best is that the car stereo automatically turns the radio/music down when you put the car into reverse. I had to laugh when I first noticed that something that small, that minor in the grand scheme of things, made a huge difference in my mental state. Ha, ha, design thinking for a better life. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Brian! You raise a really important point…my hubs has hearing issues in one ear, too, and while I try to be thoughtful about his need for more volume, sometimes it doesn’t help him much because, as you said, you can’t necessarily discern the words or spoken info JUST because the volume’s increased. Maybe we need to learn to love captioning for tv viewing? Appreciate your comment — have a great day!😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Two funny things. I used to love to listen to the band U2 . . . but most of Bono’s pitch/tone were in a fuzzy area that I couldn’t hear well. I’d blast the music, but eventually found that it got me more riled up than relaxed. Uh-oh. Plus, you mentioned closed-captioning. I’m a big fan. I can’t watch TV now without it . . . even if I can hear fine.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I “ hear you” 😉about Bono! Agree! And thx for the captioning thumbs up—-I think we need it! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  3. 🙂 Thankfully, I do not have a problem with being hypersensitive to sound.

    If the television is too loud, I can zone out by listening to music with my headphones on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah….great point, Renard. Yes — headphones are a great solution. Thank you for that and for your comment. xo! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    2. There are several types of “noise” that can get to one, especially to the ones who are attuned to different “noises.” One that comes to mind is what Steve Jobs pointed out in his marvelous commencement speech at Stanford almost 20 years ago? “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “I can take it. Just don’t shout.” Very funny, Vicki!

    Do you think they can put the curse words on the tombstone in an elegant script? That perhaps would make it work in a lovely Vicki way! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Wynne…you “GET” me. In my perfect world, yes, curse words — if presented ELEGANTLY should soften the impact. Presentation IS everything, right? Thanks for the giggle. xo! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right – presentation is everything! Ha, ha! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We are a little wicked, aren’t we?! 😜

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Sometimes it’s good to admit it…. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

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