Noise

We subject ourselves to an 'acoustic startle response' each morning if we're aroused by the unpleasant sound of an an alarm clock. Loud or startling noise can, in the long run, induce cardiovascular and digestive distress. Noise has been shown to cause irritability and aggression. The military uses acid rock music to torture prisoners and make enemy troops run away. Noise reduces cognitive functions. Research has shown that, in the case of a school located next to a train track, students' performance is hampered by noise. On the quieter side of the school, students performed at a reading level higher than the students on the train side. When measures were taken to insulate the noise-affected students, their performance evened out.

Stroke victims have also been reported to have increased visual awareness when listening to preferred music. Surgery patients have reported less pain while listening to nature sounds.

Take measures to calm your mind and body by using more soothing sounds to wake you up in the morning. Whenever possible reduce the noise level in your life, and try listening to something pleasant more often. Consider also that much of the information we are exposed to every day is not much more than noise. Take some time in silence to listen to your own inner voice, to remember and then act on what is important to you.