#36alive 338: Tune Into The Sounds Around You

Sound is around us all the time, even when we think we’re in a quiet area, there’s still the sound of traffic in the distance, technology beeping, or the odd plane flying over-head. Of course, there are more pleasant sounds around us, like the wind through trees, birdsong or waves breaking against the shore – but the world has definitely become a lot louder in the past 10 years, so it’s important to be discerning as to which sounds we choose to listen to often.

As a primal sense, sound is something we rely on a huge amount, and is something that has evolved in order to help us survive as humans. The practicalities of sound aren’t just physical however, as sounds can be a powerful trigger for emotions and memories. Hearing a song from the decade you grew up in – for instance – can bring back floods of memories, both good and not-so-good.

Certain frequencies, notes and melodies can evoke different feelings too, which is why sound therapy or ‘sound healing’ has become so popular among the growing interest in alternative therapies.

Today – practice simply noticing to begin with. What can you hear around you? Test out a few sounds such as humming, clapping your hands, paper ripping or even the sound of your own breathing. How does it feel to listen so closely to these every-day sounds? What do they make you feel? Do you have any subtle reactions to them? Doing this can help you realise which sounds around you are positive and uplifting or relaxing, and which tend to annoy or frustrate you, or make you feel emotionally sad.

Let us know how you get on!

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