Can you be hypnotized to ignore noise and reduce your noise sensitivity? Noise is becoming more and more common everywhere, and one of the paradoxical things about noise is that the more you are exposed to it, the more sensitive you tend to become to it. This is counterintuitive to the idea that people often hold that they’ll become used to noisy environments.
It’s also a fact that some people are more sensitive to noise than others. Hyperacusis is a medical term to describe a condition characterized by an over-sensitivity to certain frequency ranges of sound.
Do you have problems tolerating sounds?
Do you feel that sounds that tend to be acceptable for others cause annoyance to you?
There are lots of potential explanations for why a person is overly sensitive to noise, but that’s not what we want to focus on in this article. In this article, we want to focus on what you can do to overcome your noise sensitivity.
So occasionally I get asked whether you can be hypnotized to ignore noise and reduce your noise sensitivity. And the answer is yes. In fact, hypnosis can be used to alter how your brain processes sensory information.
A recent study has shown that hypnosis can actually help to change the way sensory stimuli are perceived before conscious processing.
The great philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer pronounced noise to be the supreme enemy of any serious thinker. And it makes sense: because noises by default attract attention to the source of the noise. And by thus, they do also distract us from whatever we were just thinking about or focusing on.
The auditory system of human beings was first and foremost a warning system, and only later developed into a mechanism for communication. It’s primary purpose was to alert us to immediate dangers. Particularly a detection mechanism for predators and potential enemies. When our ancestors were still living in the forest, they depended on their ears to alert them when an enemy was approaching. And that’s why some part of your brain is still alerting you when there is a sound.
This millennia old survival mechanism is still active somewhere in the backs of our brains.
That’s why a study done on people who slept near airports and were exposed to constant air-traffic noise found that their bodies reacted to the engine noise of nearby airplanes, even when they were asleep:
- their blood pressure spiked
- their pulse rates increased
- vasoconstriction intensified
- stress hormones were released.
If you’re hypersensitive to noise, these effects work on your physiology constantly – and that will cause your health to deteriorate much faster. As a recent article in the New York Times pointed out:
A recent World Health Organization report on the burden of disease from environmental noise conservatively estimates that Western Europeans lose more than one million healthy life years annually as a consequence of noise-related disability and disease. Among environmental hazards, only air pollution causes more damage.
So learning to be hypnotized to ignore noise is not just a luxury to indulge in – it’s an important part of maintaining your psychological and physiological well-being.
Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography