As you enter life after recovery, you may find yourself succumbing to all manner of stress and negative influences that are giving you trouble in your life. When you feel high amounts of stress, you can begin to slip back into unhealthy habits and low-feeling places. As your stress grows, your emotions and mental health can become unstable. You could seek out the help of substances to cope with the stress and begin to use old habits of coping that weren’t healthy or conducive to a good life. To minimize the impact of stress on your life, you have to find every way that tension can be created and seep into every part of your life. Among the many factors that create anxiety, there are some you might overlook such as noise pollution.
Noise is something that is all around you. Everything makes some kind of sound. Sound is how most people communicate with each other, and how you know something is about to happen. It can also be a way you react to stimuli. There is so much about life that is predicated on sound. But sound and noise can have a negative influence on your life. In cities, noise pollution is a very real thing. You are exposed to traffic sounds, sounds of people yelling, and sounds of airplanes flying over you. All these noises can build up and cause great emotional and mental distress.
Studies have shown that living in an urban environment, where you are hearing so many different noises, can cause a significant increase in mental health issues. In 2011, researchers found that for people living near an airport, a 10-decibel increase in aircraft noise was associated with a 28% increase in anxiety medication use. Another study showed that people living by a busy road and who heard a lot of traffic were 25% more likely to develop symptoms of depression than those living in quiet neighborhoods. People who are exposed to higher amounts of noise pollution are also more likely to have heart problems like atrial fibrillation, a type of heart arrhythmia, as well.
The Science Behind It
Researchers believe that all of these mental health issues and symptoms are aggravated because noise pollution causes an increase in stress levels in your brain. When you experience a stressful noise, the amygdala sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus then tells your adrenal glands to send adrenaline into your body. This is a reaction meant to engage your “fight or flight” response to a threat.
As you continue to be exposed to these noises, cortisol, a stress hormone, is continually pumped into your system, which can elevate your stress to unhealthy levels. These levels of stress can wear the body down, creating worse physical and mental health. Furthermore, as populations increase and more people begin to live in these cities, there will be more people affected by noise pollution and its consequences.
Seeking Peace and Quiet
When you are trying to minimize stress in your life after recovery, you may need to look at living someplace quiet. This does not mean having to move yourself to the suburbs or another place that doesn’t suit your lifestyle, but there are options outside of the city where you can live with less noise. Being in a quieter area can help you feel more relaxed, and when life does cause you to feel stressed, you can feel like you’re getting away from it. A quieter home means a sanctuary for you to escape to. Living in such an environment could be one of the best choices you could make in living after recovery.
We know how overwhelming everything can be when you enter your life after recovery. Everything can feel like it’s trying to tear you down, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help minimize the stressors around you. Noise pollution has a significant effect on people. It can, however, be reduced and avoided as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to make that decision for yourself. You deserve to be in the best situation possible so you can continue to thrive. The world is loud, and you can’t drown it all out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn the volume down every now and then.
You can’t always just take a break from your busy urban lives. You have a job, family, and relationships that need daily maintenance, and a lot of that requires tolerating a certain degree of noise pollution. Still, in the early days of your recovery, a break is often necessary. By setting aside all the stresses and rigors of daily living, you’re offering yourself a real chance to turn things around. If you’re looking for a safe and stable place to get started on the path to recovery, give True Recovery a call. We offer all the tools and support you will need throughout the early days of sobriety or mental illness rehabilitation. Whether you’re looking for emotional support, spiritual guidance, or research-based therapies, we’ve got the solution you’re looking for. To learn more about how True Recovery can help you change your life, give us a call today at (866) 399-6528.