If you don’t think this can happen to you, then guess again. It already has!
The ambient noise a city produces has gone up thirty three percent in the last fifty years. That’s huge! Do you hear 33% more noise? Of course not. But why not? It’s because the noise that you no longer hear, is now what’s causing you to become hard of hearing. And you don’t even know that it’s happening until it’s far too late. Here’s how it works.
A friend of mine shared this anecdote that best describes how this phenomena happens. He was from a quiet small town on the west coast and went to visit New York city. He said that everything was fine until he was halfway through the third day. He said he was walking down a street that afternoon when suddenly he could only hear half of what he had heard a moment before. He said it was like being struck half deaf in an instant.
Just like that. Poof! Half your hearing gone.
Our central nervous system is one of the most remarkable parts of our bodies there is. After three days in NYC his nervous system said that it could only process half of the information it was being given. So it just instantly chopped half of the noise away. Just like that. Poof! Half your hearing gone. Voices muted while traffic muffled. The upcoming intersection just faded away.
No, it doesn’t send you an email first. But this does give us an understanding of how we tune out sounds from our environments. We actually keep tuning out sounds until we tune ourselves out of our own hearing.
Unfortunately you can’t tune out one sound without the others.
Professionals practicing talk therapy are finding many different ways that their clients have learned to psychologically tune others out. Thereby tuning out on their own hearing as well. To synapse xt some degree we all do this. Unfortunately you can’t tune out one without the others. There was a recent joke about a man saying that: “My wife said that I didn’t listen to her any more. At least that’s what I thought she said.”
We are not built to cope with the pollution we receive.
Without being aware of it we are actually turning our world off. The “China Syndrome” is a parallelism of what’s affecting us here. We hear so many stories from around the world filled with such distress that we are no longer capable of coping with that kind of information. So we tune it out. We tune out hearing in just exactly the same way.
Deep therapy even changes the structure of your physical body.
This is why psychology has been having a recent impact on assisting people in the returning of their hearing through talk therapy. We can actually rewire ourselves using our own brains mental plasticity. It’s quite customary for people to stand up physically straighter, after having “gotten something off their chests” in a psycho- therapeutic session. It’s as normal as, well, as any day is normal for a therapist. Deep therapy even changes the structure of your physical body.
Your hearing can go faster than your ability to recognize it’s happening.
Here’s another story that most can relate to about tuning out sound. You move into a house and later that afternoon a train goes by. The noise is so deafening you can’t hear the person next to you talking. The whole house shakes on it’s very foundations and you question your decision about paying less for rent because of the location. Two weeks or so has gone by and one afternoon the daily train goes by. Except it’s only after it’s gone by that you realize you didn’t even notice it going by at all.
It’s so noisy you can’t hear your nervous system screaming for less.
Maybe it’s a bus stop close to your home. Or a buildings air conditioning system whirring away next to where you work or an intersection close by with lots of noisy traffic. It all adds up to a lot of noise that your nervous system is a lot more aware of dealing with than you are. It’s also clearly saying: Give me less. Lots less!