Are you one of those people who get disgusted at the sound of someone else chewing, nailbiting or worse scratching the blackboard with their nails, gulping, swallowing, or sniffling? If you are one of these humans then you are possibly suffering from a condition called misophonia. Such kinds of sounds and traits can be more than enough to trigger some people's temper and frustration. Only about 20% of people in the world have this disorder.
Misophonia is a selective sound sensitivity syndrome which is often sparked by an annoying sound. Most often these tend to be oral sounds which are the noise which people make when they eat or drink. It can also be the sound of heavy breathing, yawning, and whistling. Certain repetitive motions such as shaking of the leg, rotating of the ankle, fidgeting are also factors which can trigger an outburst from those who have misophonia.
People who are suffering from misophonia will immediately feel a burst of emotion coming on as soon as they hear one of the trigger sounds. The problem is that they are unable to focus on anything else except to eliminate the cause of their annoyance and frustration. The person suffering will tend to become very focused on the sound and will have the urge to make the sound stop.
Recently, scientists have revealed that if you are one of those who suffers from misophonia, then it is very likely that you are a genius. Historians have recorded information and evidence which states that geniuses such as Charles Darwin, Anton Chekhov, and Marcel Proust were all sufferers of misophonia and would often work with heavy earplugs to block out the sound. Proust even went to the length of having his bedroom lined with cork to block out any possible sound.
The Northwestern University conducted a study in which 100 participants took place and it was found that those who have the inability to filter out sensory information is pretty common amongst those are creatively brilliant. This means that people who are hypersensitive to certain sounds tend to be a lot more creative than those who are not.
The researchers found that the participants who reacted to a particular set of noises were a lot more creatively inclined as compared to those who did not react much to the sounds. According to Huffington Post, the study stated, " answers revealed a strong link between those with the most creative answers and achievements and those sensitive to background noise. The study showed that higher divergent thinking scores were linked with more selective sensory gating."
These are seven ways in which one can cope with misophonia:
7) Always carry earphones
Make sure that you always have a pair of earphones to help diffuse the tension. There is nothing wrong in politely excusing yourself and plugging in your earphones as you eat. For those who suffer from misophonia, having earphones can prevent a big outburst.
6) Try and have some background noise at meal times
While you are dining with friends and family, make sure that you try and have some other background noises to help keep you distracted by the noises people make while chewing. Whether it is leaving the television on, or playing a movie, or even just some soft music in the background will help ease your mind.
5) Keep your stress levels minimal
If you are already susceptible to getting angry and having small outbursts due to your intolerance for certain sounds, you need to focus on keeping your stress levels to an absolute minimum. The more you stress, the more likely you are to get agitated which will only make things difficult for you as well as those around you.
4) Have an escape plan ready
It is possible that you will be in situations where you cannot control your misophonia and it feels as though you are trapped with the most infuriating sounds. In such cases, always be ready with an escape plan even if it is just excusing yourself to take a talk and calm yourself down. Try and keep someone close to you informed so that they can help you out when things are getting out of control.
3) Take a work from home
On certain days when you feel as though you cannot sit in the office space and work with all the extra and annoying sounds then you should take a work from home. This is not a permanent solution though as one needs to find a way to deal with these things in the workspace.
2) Try and prevent yourself from lashing out
As difficult as it may be, try and stop yourself from lashing out at others. In the moment of heat and anger, you could be so angry and annoyed that you could end up saying things which you will definitely regret. When you feel an episode coming on, try and hold it in or else, excuse yourself and walk away until you are calm.
1) Focus on taking deep breaths
It is important to remember to take deep breaths and focus on your breathing in situations where you are getting uncomfortable or annoyed. Instead of focusing your mind on the sounds and the frustration it is causing you, try and calm yourself by taking deep breaths. Taking deep breaths will help your body to relax and calm down.
Here is a video of sounds that people with misophonia find terribly annoying:
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