9 tips on how to battle noise pollution and find some peace of mind

by Jan 14, 2019Healthy living, Simple living

The world around us is getting louder and louder. And all these unwanted noises can have detrimental health effects that you might not even be aware of. If you are also highly annoyed by all the increasing sounds in your environment, look no further. I’ve made a list for you with 9 tips on how to battle noise pollution so that you can hopefully find some peace of mind.

Earlier this year I was located in a different building for my job than where we are now. And I’m telling you, I nearly lost my mind quite a few times at that place. While I was trying to work there, there was lots of construction going on right beneath our floor. Lectures were given in the room next to us with incredibly loud microphones. There were screaming and yelling students in the hallway next to us. There were students playing huge drums all summer to practice for the start of the new year. And on top of that numerous airplanes taking off and landing right above our heads.

I don’t know how I got through it, but the amount of times that I just wanted to scream is endless. I was so incredibly stressed because of it. And I truly don’t wish a situation like this for anyone, not even my worst enemy.

In cases like this, there is only so much you can do, but we shouldn’t view noise as a “fact of life”. Luckily there are some tips and tricks on how to deal with noise pollution. Different cases call for different measures, so have a look at what might be worth trying for you!

1. Be aware of the noise around you

Before taking any kind of measure, it is of course important that you understand that noise is an issue in your life in the first place. Many sounds and noises are affecting us without us even realizing it. The first tip is therefore to start being aware of the noises around you. Try to be aware what sounds are bothering you. Perhaps the traffic that is passing your home. Or the sounds coming from your fridge or dishwasher. By creating awareness about these noises, it’s easier to start influencing the issue. While it may not always be possible to remove the source of the noise, it can always be tried to make sure that less noise reaches our ears.

2. Mute what you can

One great way to deal with noise is to mute what you can. Of course you don’t have control over all the noises in your environment. But you have the power to control some noises around you. Some examples: turn off the radio while you are driving your car. Go for a run or a walk without music in your ears. Turn off the sound of your phone, so that you’re not bothered by a thousand incoming beeps. Don’t use noisy appliances during the night, especially if they are close to your bedroom. Those are just a few examples, but it’s really worth thinking about the sounds that you actually have control over in your life! See it as a fun game to mute as many unnecessary sounds as possible.

3. Visit quiet places

This tip doesn’t take out the noises in your daily life, but it is great if you are just looking for same peace of mind when you need it. To re-load your battery so to say. Examples of quiet places that you can visit are libraries, museums, galleries, churches, cemeteries, or parks. Of course there are also places like this that are not as quiet, but try to find one near you that is nice and quiet. It’s definitely there and certainly worth the initial search. When you’ve found your favourite quiet place, you can always go there whenever you are in need of some peace of mind. To escape your noisy surroundings.!

4. During the day: wear a hearing protector

You can consider to wear a hearing protector during the day. This is especially helpful if you need to focus. For instance, if you really need to concentrate on your work or task at hand. Or if you need to study. Or even just to read a book. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, so it’s really personal which one would feel comfortable for you. Try them out, and you will be amazed by how much they can decrease the noise levels around you.

5. During the night: wear earplugs

Obviously hearing protectors are a tad inconvenient when you’re laying in bed. Therefore earplugs are great during the night. They are such life-savers and can be really useful for when the neighbours are having a party, or because your bedroom is next to a busy street. It’s also essential when you are sharing your bed with a snoring partner. 

You can get ear plugs as cheap or expensive as you want, but for me the cheap ones are incredibly irritating for my ears and after one hour or so I already have to get them out because it hurts so much. But surely that could be different for everyone. So you could try out the cheap ones first, and if you experience the same issue, invest a little to get comfortable ones. It would definitely be worth the good night’s rest that you get in return!

Of course earplugs don’t completely block all the sounds, but to me personally it makes a big difference either way.

6. Play calming sounds

What really works wonders for me is to play calming sounds or music. Surely this will not give you silence, but it can block annoying noises and provide you with relaxing sounds instead. Examples are sounds of the beach, or a forest with chirping birds, or a flowing river, or wind blowing through the leaves. I use this method whenever I really want to block annoying sounds that I can’t change anything about in that moment. For instance when I need to focus at work but there is construction going on close by, or when I want to sleep while the neighbours are having a loud party.

Some people argue for a white noise machine, but I personally have no experience with it, so I won’t be able to give my opinion on it. I just go to YouTube and type in “relaxing music for studying” or “calming music for sleeping/meditating”, or something along those lines. And there will be endless amounts of options given for you. Just try out a few and see which one really does the trick for you. For the best results, try combining this tip with wearing earplugs and you can have some peace of mind in no time.

7. Explore social solutions

If there are certain noises surrounding your home that are really bothering you, don’t just accept it as bad luck or as a fact that can’t be changed. You can always try to talk with other people to see how they feel about it, if they experience the same nuisance, and what the possibilities are. You can for instance talk with your neighbours, or even with government officials, you can sign petitions as a group with other people from your neighbourhood or area. As a group you often stand stronger than alone.

If the noise is just within your home and thus on a smaller scale, it is definitely worth trying to politely discuss the issue with your house mates or family members. Issues can for instance be how loud others are playing their radio or television, or playing their instruments, and at what time of day. Sometimes people are just not aware that they are disturbing others, so just try talking about it and see where it goes. They might not completely change their sound producing behaviour, but all bits and pieces help.

8. Change the acoustics in your home

This measure might take a bit more effort and a little bit of an investment, but is still really worth considering if the other tricks don’t help enough to get your peace of mind. To change the acoustics in your home, you can for instance install sound absorbing surfaces. You can insulate the room with noise-dampening mats or hang up sound blocking curtains. Another way is to make your room air-tight and thus noise-tight. I would suggest to do it for at least one room in your home, so that you have a quite place to go to when you need it. The bed room would make the most sense, as you will need it the most there to get a good night’s rest.

9. Move to a quieter place

Moving your home to a different location is rather drastic and seen as a last resort and may not be possible for everyone. But if you have the possibility and you are really struggling with the noise around you, it is definitely worth considering for your own health and peace of mind to move to a quieter area.

Wrapping up:

Unfortunately the world around us is getting louder and louder, which can have detrimental effects on our health. We should however not accept the noises around us as a fact of life. There are things that can be done to deal with noise pollution.

Here is a quick summary of what you can try:

1. Be aware of the noises around you.
2. Mute what you can.
3. Visit quiet places.
4. Wear a hearing protector during the day.
5. Wear earplugs during the night.
6. Play calming sounds.
7. Explore social solutions.
8. Change the acoustics in your home.
9. Move to a quieter place.

Different cases call for different measures, so decide which one might be worth trying for you!

About Me

My name is Lenore and it is my mission to present women with tips and tricks on how to create a healthier lifestyle, but also on how to live more sustainably where less is more. So if you're looking for just that, you're in the right place!