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Are you easily distracted? Do sounds get your focus instead of the task in front of you? Do specific sounds bother you, like the sound of someone’s breath or someone eating? Or the sound of all the paper bags and plastic that surrounds us? Do these sounds make you feel like wanting to hide, run or hit someone? Or yell at the person making the sound? You’re not alone here!
I know I get can extremely angry and irritated by specific ‘softer’ human sounds and I often feel repulsed by them too. It’s called Misophonia. Did you know that? How about you? What happens with you when you hear certain sounds?
- What do you notice in your physical body?
- What do you think about what you are experiencing in your body?
- How does this make you feel?
- How intense is your response at all of these levels?
I know what it’s like to be highly sensitive and I know what it’s like to deal with Misophonia. Is there a cure? YES, self-care. And ADAPT your life. I am always exploring the topic myself. You could call me a therapy-junkie in the good sense of the word 😉!
Thus; perhaps we can look at coping mechanisms (strategies) together in order to learn how we can cope with Misophonia. It is about looking at what you already do to deal with triggering sounds and to perhaps introduce some useful exercises that could possibly support you to ease the sound stress.
What are coping mechanisms? You could say that these are strategies you have adopted and use to deal with triggering sounds and triggering situations.
- Think about sitting with your back towards the wall so nobody can sit behind you and you can oversee what is happening around you.
- Think about not looking at the person who is making the sound and looking into another more reassuring direction (if it exists).
- Think about using ear plugs, headphones or noise cancelling headphones to even out sounds in your surroundings.
I am sure you have all kinds of strategies already. What do you do when you are triggered? These actions are most probably your strategies and so-called coping mechanisms.
These are possible solutions:
- Walk away (… can be the smartest solution)
- Say something about it (… hopefully to a compassionate person)
- Yell (… not recommended even though it does bring relief)
- Ignore it (… not always possible)
- Look for a distraction (… a much better option)
- Block it by perhaps listening to music or by using headphones (… might help, but not always or only to a certain degree)
What do you do?
I am curious, what do you do? Tell me: email@example.com.
- What coping mechanisms do you use?
- Create your list. Write them all down.
- Now number them. From 0 (= ‘It doesn’t work at all actually!’) to 10 (= ‘It works amazingly well!’).
And … what more can you do?
Misophonia coping tips
You can find my personal answers to ‘What helps you cope with your Misophonia?’ on Tom’s website Allergictosound.com. Here they are too. In a random order.
This is not an exhaustive list of approaches on dealing with Misophonia. It only shows some possibilities of dealing with it. You might have tried them all, or perhaps none and in the case you have ones you’d like me to know about, e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tell people to just STOP making that noise.
- Going somewhere else, away from the sound.
- Not going to certain events at all.
- Earplugs in when in bed. Earplugs in my bag for just in case.
- Putting music on whenever I can, but gentle piano music. Just instrumental music.
- Having a fan on. I love the sound of wind.
- Have a lot of quiet time in the morning to go walking for 1-2 hours before I go home to work from home.
- Quiet time also means hours without a phone laptop and people. Just me!
- No TV in the house. Hate it! There is just such much nonsense on it.
- Part-time job, and I am now in a phase that I only work from home when I feel rested and inspired and I am not planning on working at an office ever again. It is just not me, even without the misophonia, I don’t believe in that system.
- Hiking, walking, running and doing Yoga; I need to move every day and be outdoors close to nature every day.
- Sleep enough.
- Less to no alcohol and no more coffee. It agitates the body, mind and heart. It just creates more fire in my system and the sound triggers make me fiery enough ;)!
- Meet people at home if possible or only in town if needed for just 1-2 hour max. and at a spot that I have chosen.
- Sit with my back against the wall, so I can see what happens in front of me and I don’t have people bothering me behind my back.
- Therapy. I believe in talking to someone on a regular basis who is trained to be compassionate.
- Acupuncture: I believe in trying whatever wonderful techniques that are out there to see whether I can ease my body, mind and heart.
- Explain to people what happens to me when it happens. I don’t care what they think. I just want to be safe and comfortable myself.
Would you also like to know more about my Misophonia Super Powers too? It’s all there in the blog Marianne’s Misophonia Story.
Back to exploring the topic myself. A psychologist that I saw for weekly sessions for 2 whole years told me that Misophonia is a symptom of a deeper cause (trauma). And regarding the symptoms of Misophonia, I’m always looking into the topic of ‘How to deal with Misophonia?’ myself and a while ago I came up with the idea to interview healers and teachers that I have come across on my quest to find a cure that helps us soothe our nervous system.
For example, I asked Oliver James Jenkin from Solenergies.uk about being (extremely) sound sensitive. I have been following his meditations for quite some time and they have helped me through moments of anxiety. Would you like to know what he suggests? In short: reframe, re-map + enjoy. Read more about Oliver’s view point (and mine) in his guest-blog: Sound Sensitivity to Sound Sensuality.
Would you like to know more? All that I know and have tried & tested myself has been put into my Sound Champion Course. That’s 42 years of experience 😉! The e-course will help you raise your awareness on being sound sensitive and will guide you on what coping strategies and stress-management exercises can help you soothe your senses. You can find it in the shop.
With love & care,
Marianne de Kuyper
P.S. I’m a Dutch girl going global. Even though I reread everything multiple times, my apologies in case I’ve made a language mistake somewhere. Just e-mail me about it. I’ll be happy to adjust it (if I can) and learn from it!
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// I, Marianne (founder) am a Dutch girl going global. Even though (the team and) I reread everything multiple times, my apologies in case I’ve made a language mistake somewhere. Just e-mail me about it. I’ll be happy to adjust it if I can and learn from it! //