|Oye Mi Canto by Anna Alvarado|
That there are so many birds here in a metropolis of eight million people is always a wonder to me. For a minute I thought that maybe the number of birds have multiplied but it's more like I've become aware of their beautiful songs. It seems that I am no longer "suppressing" sound, which is what Ted speaker and sound expert Julian Treasure says most of have done. It's a protection mechanism from all the horrible sounds that we have to endure as we go about our daily grind.
Treasure, in his wonderful talk on The 4 Ways Sounds Affects Us, (see jump for the video) says that because most of the sounds we experience are accidental noises -- fire, cop, or ambulance alarms, construction equipment, trains, buses, cars, etc.--to protect ourselves, we pretend that they don't exist. As a result we experience all these horrid noises unconsciously. To put it another way, it's like we hear and we don't hear. But whether or not we are aware of the noise that surrounds us, it is affecting our behaviour, emotional, cognitive and physiologically state nonetheless.
Noises can kick start our fight or flight response, ie raising the cortisol or stress levels (not good) or sooth our emotional state and even lower our breathing. We can fall in love, or disgust, really, we can. Sounds can heal or harm. In fact, when birds sing, according to Treasure, it signals to the brain that things are safe. It's when they stop signing that we need to worry. Makes sense to me!
Check Treasure's talk and become aware of the four ways in which sounds affect you. And start curating what you let in those pretty little ears.