I get stressed a lot. My poor mother has spent many years telling me, “Just relax.” I guess I’m just too wired to worry! On days when I feel really stressed and tired, I hate anyone getting near me (seriously, no hugs) and I also can’t stand any kind of noise. Turns out, I’m not the only one.
A Swedish study found that women who were considered to have high levels of “emotional exhaustion” were more sensitive to sound after undergoing various stress experiments than those non-exhausted ladies.
We’re not even necessarily talking about the stereo being cranked up or someone’s intentionally annoying humming (my brother did this ALL THE TIME), but the study found that even the sound level of someone else just carrying on a regular convo was enough to set off some of the exhausted women’s sound sensitivity. I totally feel this. Whenever I’m tired and stressed, I feel like all my insides just completely cringe at most sounds. I want to mute the whole world.
In Cosmo’s recap of the study, they suggested taking a little bit of quiet time, and I totally agree! I love relaxing to music and TV as much as the next person, but taking a little time to be noise-free (yup, phones silenced, laptops closed) could be good to at least keep you from getting more aggravated in your stressed out state. Flipping through magazines and books makes for a great quiet activity!
I also want to spill about a little secret I learned in college: the power of the library. My college library had a totally silent floor. Seriously, silent. I’d have a long day of classes and what I would consider (by my personal standards) to be skyrocketing “emotional exhaustion.” In my room, there were way too many sound distractions – whether it was hearing people walking by outside or my phone going off. Everything annoyed me.
I feel like the image of the shushing librarian is often done in a mocking way, but seriously, you’ll be happy that someone is policing the noise when you feel tired and stressed just thinking about all you have to get done. When I discovered the all-quiet floor of my college library, it was heavenly. I would find my own little corner away from everyone and just do my work. No people talking about their own issues to annoy me, no phones beeping – just quiet.
Did all my stress magically disappear? No, I still had a 15-page paper due the next day, but without all those little extra noise annoyances on my nerves, it helped me keep my cool. All I’m saying is, keep the library in mind next time you feel that stress-and-exhaustion induced sound sensitivity creeping up. It could be that perfect quiet place of your dreams!
Do you find that sounds bother you when you feel stressed or tired? How do you deal? Do you ever turn to the library for a quiet study sesh? Tell me in the comments!