Limbic System and Anxiety
I just read a fascinating article by Jack Katz, Ph.D. (one of my mentors) about anxiety in noisy environments. Your limbic system which controls anxiety and stress can be controlled when you know the facts. He tells a story about going to Canada to give a talk and there was horrible music/noise being piped into the entire hotel. He heard toottoot, wam, wam, and beep, beep... beep and toot..toot. Even in his room, the sounds surrounded him. He was angry at this invasion of his privacy in his hotel room and that the sound was so annoying. He went down to the front desk to complain when he noticed the big sign proudlyu announcing that the Philharmonic was there. He started laughing because he realized that all the horrible sounds were merely all the musicians in their rooms practicing. Amazingly, it didn't bother him anymore.
The lesson to be learned is that if you find yourself angry, annoyed, bothered by background noise, think about why the sound is there....someone is having a party to celebrate something....isn't that nice. The dogs barking because maybe they are scaring away something in the neighborhood that you don't want to be there. You'll find that once you do that, you will relax and the noise won't bother you as much. Our limbic systems is important to our well being and safety. Only when it gets upset does it cause us problems. So we much teach it to relax and not sweat the small stuff.