May 17, 2021

Ask Amy- I Can't Take The Noise!

Some of us are more affected by our environments. We don't habituate to noise exposure like others do. And when our nervous systems are already amped up for other reasons, the noise can just be too much. Here’s how to control what you can control.

Does the combination of your kids' squabbling, the repeated clinking of your spouse's cereal spoon, and the Mister Softee jingle send you into a rage-panic? You are not alone.

Farrah had this to say on Facebook:

Someone talk to me about PARENTAL sensory overload. We have 6 kiddos ages 5-12. I have found that the older I get (or maybe the older they get?) the noise level is less and less tolerable to me. I want to enjoy being around my kids they way I used to, but I find myself simply overwhelmed with the noise. Has anyone else dealt with this or something similar? Any suggestions on dealing with this sensory overload so I can get back to enjoying the company of my kids/ family?

Some people really are more sensitive to noise. Dr. Elaine Aron describes "highly sensitive people" and their reactions to auditory input this way:

"Highly sensitive persons process information more thoroughly, are more easily stimulated, are more aware of subtle stimuli, are more empathic, and have higher emotional reactivity."

In other words, we don't habituate to noise exposure like other people do. Our highly attuned senses are more affected by our environments. And when our nervous systems are already amped up for other reasons— can you think of anything you might have been feeling anxious about over the last year?!– the auditory information on the way to the brain becomes augmented, and it can feel like too much to bear.

Amy's a fellow noise-intolerant, and in this episode she goes through the three-step process of

  1. control the noise
  2. if you can't do that, control your location
  3. if you can't do that... time for an intentional reset.

Listen for the full rundown, and read more here:

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