How Noise Affects The Mood

Noise affects mood, according to what science has been able to establish, especially in recent years. First of all, it should be noted that excess noise produces deafness and that this problem brings with it a whole set of additional psychological difficulties.

Second, noise by itself is an aggressive stimulus to the brain. Sounds such as bells, horns, sirens, and the like, trigger an alarm signal, which is responded to with an alert state. The result is increased stress, one of the main ways noise affects your mood.

On the other hand, the excess of sounds causes an overstimulation to the brain. This noise is almost always present simultaneously with the development of daily activities. This requires different fronts to be addressed at the same time and affects cognitive performance. That’s another way that noise affects your mood.

So the noise affects the mood

road noise affects

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the maximum noise level should not exceed 65 decibels. If this level is exceeded, there is a negative impact on people’s social behavior. Specifically, anxiety , irritability and feelings of helplessness are increased.

Likewise, according to available data, seven out of ten people say that noise prevents them from concentrating. Noise affects attention span and, in the long term, can lead to memory  and learning problems. In addition, the vast majority of people feel moody when there is a lot of noise in their environment.

Another way that noise affects your mood is during rest. People need a quiet environment in order to fall asleep. If there are sounds in the environment, very often insomnia appears or rest is interrupted. This has multiple psychological and physical consequences.

Aural architecture

Aural architecture is a subject related to the way noise affects mood. Science has established that the acoustic properties of a home, a building or any construction directly affect  people’s emotions. This is what aural architecture is about.

Experts on the subject point out that the way a structure is built determines its acoustic properties and these, in turn, directly affect people’s mood. Aural architecture has to do with the design of each place and the materials with which it is built.

One of the scholars on this subject is Trevor Cox, an acoustic engineer at the University of Salford in Manchester, UK. He points out that structures such as the Hagia Sophia in Turkey have such acoustic aesthetics that just entering the enclosure gives a sense of peace and spirituality.

A study in this regard revealed that briefly listening to a 110 Hz tone reduces activity in the speech centers and shifts the activity to the brain regions associated with abstraction and creativity.

Music and mood

girl listening to music with headphones

So important is the influence of sounds that, in fact, there is already a whole area dedicated to study and therapy based on music. In this regard, a study carried out by the universities of Bari (Italy) and Helsinki (Finland) pointed out that music changes the biochemistry of emotions.

The study, published in the journal Nature , indicates that changes in dopamine receptors were observed with musical stimulation. This research is a first approach that seeks to shape non-pharmacological treatments for mood disorders.

Even treatments with music are already being carried out in people with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, with good results. Therefore, if music has all that power, it is clear that noise also affects the mood in the opposite direction.

Prevention and recommendations

Big cities have noise pollution problems and the ideal would be for everyone to commit to reducing the noise level in their daily life. Voluntary actions such as not honking the horn if not necessary, avoiding loud music, or refraining from speaking in a loud tone would help a lot.

It is also important to use hearing protection  when someone is in a high noise environment that is impossible to control. Likewise, it is worth looking for spaces of silence regularly.

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