“WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW MIGHT BE KILLING YOU, CLICK TO SEE”,
That is a great place to start, but seems a little hyperbolic given the topic. I should preface (it is preface, Josh, not preference, get it right) this thing by saying that I am going to build up to a larger topic in the next week or two so this is just to get your head in the right place should you spend the time to read any further. If not, see you in a few weeks.
To those who have remained, awesome. I am going to introduce you to talk about sound and your brain. And as always I will endeavor to make the concept
science palatable and uncomplicated.
There is one part of sound that I really want to talk about that most people know about but they never seem to think about. Sound helps us relax and refocus in a way that our other senses rarely do. Right now you are thinking
“Yeah! Music! I really needed this confirmation so I can listen to music so that others can hear the sound coming out of my car/headphones”
Wrong. I am talking about sounds that you experience in nature, away from your cell phone and the city or any other urban environment. Have you ever been out in nature and come away feeling calmer? Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be. This is because the sounds of nature are good for us.
“Doctor Showbizhair! You are telling us something we don’t need to know.” But yes you do. In fact, considering the amount of stress you are living with , you should really pay attention.
There are certain types of sounds that have interesting effects on the brain; there are rhythms and frequencies that just seem to cause a change in how the brain operates. Don’t worry, on the next post more sciencey terms will be used. I just want you to start thinking about some of this stuff on a less than conceptual level. Technically what I am talking about doesn’t just apply to sound. It also applies to sight. But you have a hard time closing your ears (if you are like me), so you always are hearing things around you.
Have you ever seen a sight that seems to just relax you? I mean like a dog watching fish relaxing. Not a cat, the cat will try to eat the fish because why else would its servants keep fish in such a convenient tank. That is the type of sight I am talking about.
I guess I am trying to beat around the bush and not give you the punch line. So for the last 100,000 years or so that we could quantify our species as human we have lived outside and have been exposed to the sound of the world around us.
(For the moment I need you to operate under the assumption that evolution is real, use cognitive dissonance like when you watch a movie and accept that Captain America’s shield somehow absorbs energy and can also be hard and bounce, all at the same time).
It wasn’t until several centuries ago that we figured out how to remove nature entirely and make an idyllic place (New York?) for humans to be. In our thousands of years of evolution and adaptation, it would stand to reason that we adapted to the sounds that are present around us in nature. This is for several reasons but the one people will remember is that focusing on those sounds is what kept us alive.
Hearing variation in the natural sound alerted us to potential danger, be it carnivore, other humans, or a pack of wild turkeys.
Going under this assumption that our brains are genetically adapted to respond to certain frequencies with relaxation, you could then infer those sounds that are disruptive make us not relax (DUH).
What type of world do we live in now? One where those disruptive noises are ever present, to some extent keeping us on high alert. Doesn’t that sound stressful to you? Take a walk in the woods or near a large body of water today or tonight, after you get over the fear of being in nature, try to notice that you are relaxing. It is critical for brain function to not always be on high alert.
There, that wasn’t too bad was it? Should have taken you maybe 2 minutes to read (unless you clicked on the links).
The next topic we will discuss will get into those frequencies and what not (the brain), and if I am right, there will be a podcast produced by Josh and I, if you are too lazy to read.
We shall teach you methods of being on non-high alert without having to go for a walk on the wild….trail?