How To Survive Noise?


Hey everyone, I’ve been wanting to record
this video for a while, I’m happy that I’m finally doing it, it’s
about some strategies I’ve developed throughout the years to cope with
auditory sensitivity. I know how much this can affect a person’s life,
particularly social life. So I will describe my experience with it, how I
found out that too much noise was one of the factors contributing to stress in my
case, and how I manage auditory sensitivity in my everyday life,
including the items I use in each specific scenario: parties, shopping, work,
and at home. I have my notes here with the things I want to say, and my
microphone right in front of me this time, as I’m aware I don’t talk loud
enough. Thanks for the feedback, appreciate it, and trying to work on it.
Also, I put captions on this video as I had a friend telling me I have a very
strong accent. Irish people never complained about that to me, but I guess
they are just too polite to do so. First, to make it clear, because
I’ve seen some misunderstanding around these: people with auditory sensitivity
don’t hate to be around other people. It’s just hard to be around people who
talk too loud, or talk all at the same time; people with auditory sensitivity
don’t hate music. I had people asking me, “how do you hate noise if you are a
musician?”. Noise and music are not the same thing.
They are interpreted by our brains in particular ways. If you are interested in
the subject, there is a really good book I recommend, called “The Soundscape” by
Murray Schaffer. I adore this guy. But for music it’s kind of the same principle as with people: too loud it’s not good. Don’t get me wrong, I loved singing in a band. But I would probably approach in a totally different way if I could go back
in time, with ear monitors and such. Although related to this or not, I never
managed to have a big voice. You know, like those opera singers that you can
hear outside of the concert hall, even if they are not using microphones. My first experience with auditory sensitivity was back into 96, I was 6 years old,
primary school. The teacher lost control of the class, which is normal, kids are
terrible. They were all talking and yelling at the same time, I felt
overwhelmed, covered my ears and started to cry. That happened more than once, I
was bullied because of that, so I quickly learned it wasn’t something acceptable
to do, but still couldn’t make sense of why it happened. I had no problem talking
to just one person, I would talk too much even, but if there were two people
talking at the same time that was already enough to make it a bit
difficult for me to understand what was being said. It took me a lot of time to
realize noise had anything to do with this overwhelming feeling. I
used to shake a lot on stage, which I attributed to adrenaline of course, but that shaking would happen when I went to concerts just to watch as well, or a
party, any loud place basically, and the way I coped was drinking. You can’t feel
overwhelmed when your senses are numb because you’re drunk, which is a very
dangerous thing to do, specially if you’re already dealing with other mental
health issues. Also, that won’t solve the problem in the long run, because you
can’t be drunk 24/7. I still remember the last time I went out with this girl to a
party, and I decided “I’m not drinking anymore”. I left after ten minutes. I
couldn’t stand more than that. It took me therapy, meditation, and mindfulness exercises to figure out what were my triggers to suddenly feel stressed in a
situation, to ask myself “what am I feeling?”, “why am I feeling this?”, “what’s the real issue here?”. Because a lot of times we feel annoyed and think it’s someone
else’s fault, like everything that people around you do is annoying. That’s looking
outside, but if you practice looking inside, you may realize, “oh, I’m actually
just annoyed at some loud noise in the other room, not at this person”. And you know, in some cases the answer might be “oh, I’m just hungry”
or “I need a nap”. Enough introduction though, let’s get to
the goodies. Number one: what to use at parties, gym, movies, and Airport. This is
the first Etymotic I bought, many years ago. It gained sentimental value because I wore them at the Epica concert here in Dublin. But as you can see, they are not
very discreet. They are too big for my ears to be honest, I probably bought the
wrong size. But these are my new ones Etymotic ER20 high fidelity
earplugs, sorry, I’m bad at multitasking. I bought them last January, standard size,
fit well, and they are very discreet. I love that, because you can have them in
most places and people will think they are earphones, or if you have long hair,
people won’t even notice them. And these are great because again they are high
fidelity, made to use in music concerts, so they muffle the noise, but you can still
hear music and what people are saying clearly. I had them on at the gym and I
could hear my friend giving me instructions just fine. Two – what to use on the street There is no easy choice regarding what
you use when you are out in the city, most
options will endanger you in some way. If you live in a small city, you might be
lucky enough not to need anything to deal with the noise. I had earphones on
since I was a teenager, living in a very dangerous country, and I guess I was just
lucky that nothing ever happened, but you usually want to be aware of your
surroundings. However, if you are crazy like me, I mean, if the noise annoys you
so much that you are willing to sacrifice your safety a bit, these
earphones are really good in basically any scenario. It’s the Etymotic HF5
and it has the highest noise isolation in all in-ear earphones (35-42dB). So
when I still need to hear what other people are saying, I would go with the
earplugs, but if I’m on my own, I use these earphones, without any music a lot
of times, just to muffle the noise, because their noise isolation is so
efficient, and it really helps. Three – what to use at the office at the office I use
the famous Bose quiet comfort 35, really nice headphones, Bluetooth, come with this case, and noise-canceling technology. I alternate between this and my hf5
during work. The Bose is great to do video calls, but it has a really strong
bass, which may not be interesting depending on the music style you’re into.
And also, if you’re an annoying person like me, you might get the impression
that the noise cancelling is messing with frequencies that it shouldn’t in your
favorite songs. It’s probably just in my head, but to
listen Metal I mostly go with my Etymotic. Also, in case you’re wondering,
I don’t use neither of these to record, edit vocals, or mixing. I use Beyerdynamic DT-770. These
are great for mixing, I don’t think they have a good noise isolation though, but that’s me with most over the head models, because I have a small head so they are always kinda almost falling from my
head. Four – what to use at home Some examples of dreaded enemies of
people with auditory sensitivity at home are: vacuum cleaners, hair dryers,
exhaust fans, washing machine, loud fridges (have one just here), and neighbours, of
course. The exhaust fan where I’m living at the moment
is okey-ish, but to use all these other mentioned appliances I use these Pluggerz it comes with this case, l broke mine,
but I have these for ages now They are awesome if you’re a side
sleeper, and you can buy them at your local pharmacy fairly cheap. The
advantage over the foam ones is that you can wash them and reuse them, they are
made of silicon. And if you are willing to invest a bit more, I recently saw a
brand called Flare, that makes sleeping earplugs out of titanium. They claim
that all materials other than metal do not filter low frequencies, thus doing
only half of the job. I didn’t try these yet, because they are a bit more
expensive, but it’s definitely on my “wanted items” list, because they seem
pretty cool. Disclaimer: there will be better days, and there will be worse days.
Auditory sensitivity also appears as a symptom of anxiety and depression, so be sure to check it with a mental health professional. Again, the meditation and
mindfulness might help to identify if the sensitivity disappears when you’re
feeling happy, or if for example you wake up in the morning feeling well, then go
out and has your mood completely changed by sensory issues. It can also be both,
if you already have depression, this exhaustion you feel from sensory
overload just feeds into it and makes it worse.
I had doctors dismissing my symptoms for years,
first saying I was bothered by too much noise just because I was a musician, and
then later in life as just a symptom of depression. I knew it wasn’t just that,
because I was taking my meds, doing everything I could, and it still wouldn’t go
away. I talked to friends that had depression, I talked to people online, and
no one seemed to experience this in the same way as me, but no one would help. So I had to figure out ways to adapt on my own. You know the saying, what doesn’t kill you makes you a bit more traumatised. And so after all of this, I couldn’t finish
without saying, allow yourself to take time to listen to your body, and respect
your needs. I know it feels great when you manage to somehow act like everybody else, because then it feels like you belong and everybody likes you, but
prioritise people in your life that understand you and like you even when
you are your sober awkward self and might sound like an 80 year old grumpy lady. I recently came across a page that describes the “theory of spoons”, which I
think is a great metaphor for trying to explain a bit about how it feels to
people you care about, I’ll put the link of that in the description as well. Thank
you for watching and again I really hope this can help. Bye!

2 thoughts on “How To Survive Noise?

  1. I love this Kin! I think I can apply some of your tips whenever I feel like meditating! ^^ Awesome and insightful vid!!!

  2. Accent is perfect, nothing to complain with, sure you have to deal with all of us talking fast and saying things that make no sense most of the time. I talk quite loud so I will try be more aware of the people around me. Keep up the videos 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *