Ever felt like it was paradise when listening to some music, just as much as it makes your hair’s split when hearing unbearable noises?
Yes, these noises include the ones made by traffic, nails scratched on a chalk-board or neighboring construction sounds.
Well, when you are exposed to some of these noises which drive you crazy, some uncontrollable negative physical responses are triggered, such as panic and rage.
If you don’t know the word to describe it, it’s called misophonia.
Misophonia occurs because those sounds go to the wrong part of the brain, an area which registers it as unpleasant and instigates almost a fight response, resulting in irritability.
Moreover, misophonia happens, no matter how high or low the decibel levels of those noises are.1
The functions of our ears are so vital to everyday life, but what we hear is mostly happening in the brain and not the ear itself, says Aage Møller, Professor of Cognition and Neuroscience at The University of Texas at Dallas.
Based on the sound, it is sent and processed by different parts of the brain, sort of like an assembly-line in a factory that works based on the product category.
Besides external noises, there are also everyday sounds that come from within, that is our own bodies, such as, loud chewing, slurping, burping, or snoring.
Those who suffer from misophonia (which is almost all of us every now and then) are said to show that chewing sounds are most bothersome. This can seem impossible to avoid when going to a crowded restaurant, especially ones with a lot of little kids.
Even some celebs such as Sarah Silverman tweeted, “I very much do not want to hear your skeleton breaking down food in your mouth please”
Our bodily functions are private so, it can seem almost annoying to have to hear noises of somebody else’s, as though you’re a participant in that function and you’re going to get their germs on you.
Not to sound like someone with an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or mannerisms, but the reason for misophonia has also been associated with personal space, like if a loud chewers food particles may get on you.
Besides the ideals of good manners and public etiquette, it is still considered rude and unseemly, and can even make us react emotionally such as listening to a baby cry on a plane or hearing a kid whine for more candy.
But here’s some advice on how to deal with it:
The real trick is to NOT focus on tuning it out, because that actually makes you focus on it more. You should try accepting it as something normal in the background or as part of the everyday life, which requires tolerance.
So, the next time you hear that snoring and can’t sleep, just visualize it in your mind as a beat to sleep to.
As for those long flights, just stuff your ears with some cotton or put those earphones in and play that music loud enough.
Hopefully that does not become noise of its own to the person sitting next to you.
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