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Cutting Through The Noise



WE are constantly deluged with noise. So many things grappling for our attention; tv, radio, work, family, friends, money, goals, desires, needs, news, et cetera.


The information overload creates so much noise that the natural self preserving instinct is to shut down, in order to manage the noise around us and in our heads. Unfortunately, this sometimes makes us miss important moments, information, knowledge. Because it’s instinctive, it is subconscious.


Why though is it instinctive? Why does our subconscious go into self preservative mode, activating the amygdala

The amygdala is the part of the brain responsible for emotional regulation and the activation of our sympathetic nervous system (stress response) also known as; fight/flight/freeze which in an ideal world only gets activated to protect us from danger, relaxing after the danger is gone.


So, what has the daily noise in our heads and around us got to do with danger?


Researchers from Johannes Gutenburg University in Germany compiled and analysed findings from previous studies on noise and health outcomes and their report found that noise does indeed disrupt the body’s cellular level, activating the amygdala, spiking our stress hormones and eventually causing cardiovascular damage, metabolic abnormalities, chronic diseases and mental health issues like anxiety, depression and even psychosis.





We get used to noise (Not), but our brains and sympathetic nervous system don’t. Here’s an analogy:

You open your browser, there are 80 open tabs on them. You work on the page you need, when you’re done, you close your computer. The next time you open your system, those tabs will still be there. (This is us dealing with daily noise)


Now, your system is starting to slow down, so you get an AHA moment and close all the tabs. Your system picks up again. Yipee! (This is you taking a day off or a holiday)


But, what is this? Your system is freezing on you, and then it crashes! So, you go and consult the IT department, oh you need to update your system and clear past history. Turns out your system has retained all the past activities and had even more. So you make a promise to remember to update and clear the history log. But, good intentions often fall away in the presence of our fast paced reality. It doesn’t take long before you’re back where we started.


Another not so easily noticed example is the notifications on our devices. Some people have learnt to ignore these notifications, letting them pile up, and only choosing to go in for when they’re expecting a particular message.

On the surface, no one is getting harmed., but beneath that, there’s a lot of damage going on. Every time your eyes catch sight of the piled up unread messages announced in red, it sends a distress signal to the brain, which in turn activates the amygdala. A silent siren that never goes off.

It’s like living in a never ending fire drill.


We live in a constant deluge of noise. Our amygdala is on overdrive, and when we sleep, it doesn’t. It keeps working, trying very hard to keep us safe, from a danger we have taught ourselves to ignore.


It’s no wonder that the pandemic has created a big shift, everyone wanting to dial down the noise, by leaving organisations not invested in ensuring their people are stronger, more vibrant and happier.


How To Dial Down And Soundproof For Yourself and Team(s):


You can only pour from a full cup. So, while these may seem like you doing for others, it is also you doing for yourself, because you are setting a culture for your team that ripples through each member, ensuring everyone reaps the benefits.

  • Rest in quiet environments. Take time to rest. Rest aids recovery and rejuvenation.

  • Get to know your people.

  • Communicate clearly and concisely, bearing in mind, people process information differently. Let the psychometrics guide you.

  • Empower your people. Don’t shy away from delegation.

  • Appreciate and reward your team. Sometimes, actions speak louder than words, so little presents like tickets to events, gift vouchers, etc ,go a long way. This can be reciprocal.

  • Promote wellbeing focused, Learning Away Day experiences for team bonding and motivation.


Join us on 2nd December for a CPD Certified Away Day experience. A day designed to boost team engagement, creative problem solving, resilience, positivity, mental health and wellbeing. It is in person, and will take place at Hazlewood Castle. Learn more here:




References:

https://time.com/5135279/noise-pollution-increases-heart-risk/

https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/amygdala-hijack

[How Digital And Physical Clutter Are More Similar Than You Think](https://www.becomingminimalist.com/digital-physical-clutter/)


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