“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:
- Noise Triggers
- Quick Startle Reflex
- Stress-related Tension
Hypersensitivity is fluid and ever-changing, but it IS possible to manage it. My greatest nemesis lately?
TV VOLUME…TV VOLUME…TV VOLUME
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.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com