Your neighbor loves hard rock and you have an exam tomorrow? We have all found ourselves in a noisy work environment, where it was difficult to concentrate. There is a clear link between background noise and stress. Learn different methods that will help you beat noise and regain your peace and focus.
Method 1 of 3: Adapt to a noisy environment
Step 1. Use earplugs or noise-canceling headphones
Earplugs are very effective in canceling out outside noise and they are very inexpensive. Noise-canceling headphones are more expensive, but they could be very effective, as a supplement or replacement for earplugs.
- If you are in an office, a busy place, or a study location, you may need to explain why you are using earplugs or headphones. Let the people around you know that they can still talk to you, and encourage them to slap you on the shoulder or wave to you to get your attention. Of course, make sure your boss is ok with this solution.
- There are different kinds of earplugs, headphones and other noise canceling systems. Try out several and choose the one that suits you, according to your personal preferences.
Step 2. Organize your work differently
Identify when the noise is loudest and reserve the simpler tasks for that niche. If you're at work, see if you could sit in the library, another cubicle, or a conference room if you need more concentration.
You might not always be able to leave your desk. If there is really nothing you can do about the noise, you may have to adjust and accept the situation
Step 3. Listen to music
If you are able to think, concentrate, and study while listening to music, this could be a great way to cancel out background noise. Music without words, such as classical music, trance, or background music, is often the most conducive to concentration.
- Choose the right volume. If the music is too loud, you will not be able to concentrate and you may disturb your colleagues.
- Otherwise, use white noise. White noise is static sound used to cover up background noise. It is often used with babies. If white noise isn't for you, try pink noise, gray noise, or brown noise. You can easily find them on the Internet or can download a special application.
- Put on headphones, but don't listen at all. For some individuals, the mere act of wearing headphones muffles sound enough that they can concentrate without further action.
Step 4. Take a break and relax
Background noise can be extremely stressful and harmful to your health. To better concentrate, you can take a short break and go for a walk or use the bathroom. You can also try different techniques to regain your calm.
- Sit comfortably and breathe slowly and deeply. Once your body gets used to it, close your eyes and focus on something relaxing. Do this for at least 10 minutes.
- You could also try to relax the muscles in your body. Sit comfortably and stretch your facial muscles. Gently rotate your head and move your shoulders. Stretch your arms and legs, and rotate your wrists and ankles.
Method 2 of 3: Develop your environment
Step 1. Handle the problem
If you can't get away from a noise, such as a radio on at work, consider bringing it up politely with the person in charge. It is important that all occupants of a work or study space feel comfortable. You might find that you are not the only one having a problem with noise!
- If your co-workers are unwilling to turn down their noise, you may need to talk to the human resources department.
- If you have noisy neighbors, always be calm and polite. Arguments between neighbors can quickly escalate.
- Moving your phone away will help you focus.
Step 2. Arrange the room to block out external sounds
This short-term strategy will allow you to isolate the room you are working in. Make sure your windows and doors are closed. Sound usually enters through holes and slits. The following ideas may help you reduce the volume of background noise.
- Different barriers can reduce distracting sounds. When you lie down, place a few pillows against the wall, to absorb the noise coming from the other side of the wall.
- Buy thermal curtains for your windows. These will stop noises coming from outside, as well as heat waves.
- To block sounds from below, place a mat on the floor.
Step 3. Call a professional
If you work at home and are a homeowner, you might want to contact a professional to soundproof the room. This solution could be expensive, but it will give you more freedom and satisfaction in the long run.
- There are several ways to soundproof a home. Acoustic panels can be installed on the walls and rubber mats can be placed on the floor.
- Always ask for a quote and call several professionals to compare their offers. Do not necessarily choose the first one you meet and do not negotiate with him only.
Step 4. Move out
If you are renting a house or an apartment, moving to a new home might seem like an extreme solution, but if noise plagues your life and you work from home, it might be the simplest sustainable option. You need to take care of your health and not stress yourself unnecessarily.
- Plan your move properly. Ideally, you should learn about different neighborhoods and their noise pollution. Avoid settling in an equally noisy place! If you find accommodation you like, visit it at different times of the day to make sure the noise is acceptable.
- Identify potential problems. Don't move next to a soccer stadium or nightclub. Avoid bars and places that are crowded with students.
Method 3 of 3: Help your body focus
Step 1. Make sure you are not hungry or thirsty
Being hungry or thirsty will largely prevent you from concentrating and make you more vulnerable to external stimuli, such as noise.
- Try to eat a healthy diet. Too much sugar in the blood has been shown to impact our ability to concentrate. Junk food also has a negative impact on our ability to concentrate.
- Drink a lot of water. It is good for the body and studies have shown that drinking lots of water promotes concentration.
Step 2. Avoid stimulants
Avoid stimulants such as coffee, energy drinks, sugar, and tea. While caffeine can give you a boost of energy immediately after consuming it, this effect will be short-lived. Caffeine consumption can trigger a withdrawal effect, including headaches and difficulty concentrating.
Step 3. Sleep well
Lack of sleep is very bad for concentration and will make you more sensitive to background noise. If you work in a noisy environment, try to come here well rested.
Getting a good night's sleep will also help you concentrate better at school
Step 4. Relax outside of work
If you are extremely stressed by noise, try to relax at home. You could try aromatherapy or go for a massage. Your general well-being will inevitably have an impact on your ability to resist external noise.
- Sport is a great way to relax your muscles and your body.
- Go see your friends and try to forget about your work environment. Don't obsess over noise.
- If you can no longer relax, talk to a doctor. Noise and stress can lead to overwork, and it might be time to take some rest.