Noise is the maleficent alter-ego of sound; unwanted and unpleasant. It is powerful, yet we barely give it any thought, until it becomes irksome. While sound has the ability to tremendously aid our daily lives, noise can have adverse effects. The diverse and innumerable noises we hear on a daily basis, but do not pay attention to, have the potential to produce tangible and lasting results on our physical and emotional wellbeing. Advertisers and marketers capitalize on the power of sound, and noise, to construct an experience wherein their consumers will feel a particular evoked emotion. With that in mind, wouldn’t you want to be active and intentional in your listening? In order to become a more aware listener, you must first understand the ways in which noise has the potential to influence your mood. The following five mood effects are commonly correlated with observed noises.
1. Noise and Concentration
We all know what it feels like to hear an incessant noise when we’re trying to concentrate—frustrating. Different types of sounds can affect focus. Some of us are perfectly content to work in crowded and noisy environments, while others may be less likely to achieve productivity in that type of setting. Noise, for those of us who like to work in silence, can cause irritability, frustration, and anger. These types of physiological reactions to noise can be harmful, potentially causing headache or hypertension. If you find yourself frequently annoyed by noises in your home or workplace, you may consider solutions such as using soundproof headphones or soundproofing your windows.
2. Noise and Energy
The ‘Pop and Hip-hop Power Workout’ station on Pandora may be your go-to choice for exercising as you know it will get you pumped up, while Beethoven may be your musical selection to induce sleep. Why is that? Different sounds have the power to amp us up, while others may cause us to become tired and dull.
3. Noise and Association
Some noises may evoke positive memories, while others can bring us to dark places. The clamoring of a triangle instrument may remind you of lunch time at your favorite childhood summer camp. You may smile and experience happiness upon your reminiscence of this positive time in your youth. Noise, however, is also a key trigger for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, inciting sadness, fear, and anger in many people who suffer from it. Pay attention to how different noises affect you personally, so that you may be aware of sounds that may cause you to experience extreme shifts in mood.
4. Noise and Creativity
Though we’ve established that noise can sufficiently distract, a little ambient noise has been proven to get creative juices flowing. Noise, for all of its flaws, has the power to inspire many people. Background noise can be the catalyst for excitement and passion for artists.
5. Noise and Comfort
Are you one of those people who play nature sounds to fall asleep or who look forward to rainy days solely for napping? If so, this is because natural noises have been proven to aid in relaxation. Noise can quell feelings of anxiety and create a peaceful oasis of familiar sound. Certain types of noise, produced at the opportune time, can create a very healthy and serene environment.