Relaxing sounds: white, pink, brown...they're not all created equally. When we hear the terms white, pink or brown noise, we may not understand what that means. In simple terms it’s the range of frequency particular sounds are in. White noise is pretty flat across the spectrum, while pink and brown have a larger range. But enough with the technical stuff, right?
It’s common advice to listen to colored noise if you have trouble focusing, concentrating or studying. It does help a large number of people get focused and stay focused for longer periods of time, thus helping them get their work done.
However, it’s not mentioned very often, but these colored noises can have the opposite effect on many people. Instead of the noise calming the person and helping them focus, the noise is actually an irritation.
Imagine this: A person decides to try white noise (or any of the colored noises.) They sit down, turn the sound on and it sounds nice at first. But, within a few minutes they start getting irritated with it. These causes stress and leads the body to producing more cortisol, the stress hormone. It also reduces the amount of dopamine, the calming hormone. So, it’s had the opposite effect of its intended purpose.
Misophonia may be the disorder these people are suffering from. The term literally means hated of sound. Now, while they may not hate all sound, and in fact they may love loud music. The problem is with softer, repetitive sounds, like someone tapping a pencil on a table, or the ticking of a clock. It also applies to the drone of colored noise. Colored noise is quite boring, which is why it helps some people concentrate, but to other people it is simply a maddening irritation.
To find out how you deal with colored noise, as opposed to other types of soothing background noises, go to Simply Noise and try the different noises. The site has white, pink and brown noise. Listen to each one for a few minutes and judge whether you are getting calmer or more irritated. You can also decide which noise helps you the most or causes the most irritation.
It may seem hopeless if plain colored noise irritates you, but don’t give up. You may react better to other background noises instead of colored noise. Ocean sounds, thunderstorms, birds or wind chimes may be better suited for a person who is irritated with colored noise. Simply go to Ambient Mixer and look around. They have thousands of “atmospheres” that have been created by users, or you can create your own. The sound library is huge. This may be a better option for someone who can’t tolerate colored noise, but wants to use some kind of calming sounds in the background while they work.
Ready to relax? Try my FREE PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION SESSION!