I feel silence is acceptably uncomfortable in a few situations. When sleeping, while listening/processing, in order to provide space to someone needing to get something difficult out, and when reading a book out loud we need silence. The rest of the time silence is awkward. (For me.)
A little bit of background sound can do a lot. It helps me not to feel isolated as a person with a physical disability whose friends were rarely allowed to invite over as a kid. (I was seen as fragile by many adults. How little they knew.) Podcasts can help us learn and process new ideas. Music can be a great stimulus to the creative juices and keep energy up to do anything.
I am writing this post with my favourite Pandora play list blasting! *Melissa Ethridge at this moment!*
My struggle is, if I am actively trying to get a story on my laptop, I have to be careful what I put in my background. My If I hear a new song, or one that brings forward too many intense memories my mind wanders./I sing If I’m listening to an interesting podcast…I get interested in that. News radio, just NO.
Here’s a tip: when listening to people’s voices our brains are pretty hard wired to translate what’s being heard and give it context. If the message is one of on coming danger we need to know. Which is why I can’t listen to my favourite podcasts (Court Junkie w/ Jillian, & Write Now w/ Sarah Werner.) These shows are often introducing me to new ideas and resources, and I constantly stop writing to stop and note them. Sometimes a Court Junkie episode sets me off on a rant.
My answer is to listen to face paced instrumental music, music I know by heart that makes me feel positive, (cue Shania Twain), or music in another language. I get the power of sound without as much of the distraction because my brain isn’t trying to focus on and decode the meaning in the sound.
What sounds help you focus? Or, do you prefer silence?