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I want to know how to live a quiet life in a noisy world.
My grandparents (both sets) had remarkably quiet and serene homes, even when all the cousins and aunts and uncles gathered there. There was chatter and laughter, but no electronic noises. Even the telephone on the wall was remarkably quiet. It almost never rang. And all the kids went outside to explore.
Noise, flashing lights, or bright lights seem to be an overwhelming part of our daily lives now. Everyone has a phone glued to their hands, it seems. Fluorescent lights often buzz. Televisions are always on. Quietude seems to be an out of date condition in our homes. Frankly, I miss it a lot. For people with ADD, noise and flashing lights are often overstimulating.
Do you find yourself living in a noisy neighborhood? Or do you have children who are addicted to electronics? Maybe your street has a lot of traffic noise. There are just so many sources of noise and light competing for our attention. How can we live a quiet life in a noisy world? How can we dampen the effects on our minds?
A List of Ten Ways to Reduce Noise and Light
This list of ten ways to reduce noise and light should help.
1. Hang heavy, light-blocking curtains at overly bright windows that admit too much noise. These curtains can even be hung over blinds to make them even more effective, if necessary.
2. While I’m a fervent proponent of hard flooring because of ease of cleaning, I do love plush rugs placed correctly. As long as the rugs are fairly easily cleaned, either in a washing machine or by carpet steamer, I’m all for a cushion-y surface that quiets footsteps or the sound of bouncing dropped objects.
3. Other ways to soak up sharp, loud noises are using upholstered furniture in the noisy rooms, as well as lining the walls with bookcases full of books.
4. Noisy appliances are a particular point of contention for me. The high-pitched whine that certain motors tend to produce makes me crazy. Collecting old or old-fashioned hand-driven appliances helps to take care of many of the little chores required in cooking in the kitchen. I have many very nice electrical appliances that just sit there, for the most part.
An eggbeater often replaces my hand mixer. Instead of my fancy food processor, I use a hand grater, a hand chopper, my kitchen scissors, or my knives.
5. Sometimes, if the traffic noise from the nearby highway becomes too much for my comfort, I turn to white noise to cover. A simple fan with a quiet motor on low speed usually works. I’m that weird person who plugs in fans at the store to see if the motor is whiny or overly noisy!
If that doesn’t work or my quiet fan is not available for some reason, I have been known to resort to a CD player with a a CD of nature sounds or of rain.
6. Now there is often music being played in my home, because both of daughters are musicians and vocalists. I enjoy the music they produce. Their taste in music on the radio or from internet channels, on the other hand, does not meet my standards of “old-fashioned and soft”. When they want to listen to such music, they usually head to their bedrooms and shut the door to keep from disturbing the rest of us. If, for some reason they can’t, then I will usually excuse myself to my bedroom.
7. About once a month, I stroll from room to room in our tiny manse, looking for unnecessary flashing lights and the odd source of noise here and there, such as buzzing lights or dripping water taps. Reducing these reduces my irritation level.
8. Another source of noise is my cell phone. I don’t like harsh or loud notifications. I don’t live to answer my phone! All of my notification sounds are muted and harmonious.
9. So, the most irritating sound in the world to me is the sound of an alarm clock telling me to get up. I don’t have one of these yet, but it’s on my wish list! It’s called a sunrise alarm clock. As the time for your alarm approaches, it starts to slowly bring up the light, very similarly to a sunrise. It even plays nature sounds. It’s a gentler way to wake up.
10. My last suggestion is for outside noises, such as high traffic. Take a stroll around your house to see what direction the noise is coming from. Look around on that side of the house. Is there anything between your house and the source of the noise? Trees, vines on trellises, shrubs, walls, fences or even small hillocks? If not, could you add some? This would soften the noise considerably and would probably add to the worth of your home.
Share Your Suggestions Too
These are the best suggestions I have for how to live a quiet life in a noisy world. I hope these help you or stimulate your thinking in a useful way. Please add your comments and suggestions below!