Sound and Stress

“If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies.”

Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine,
the Cornell Cancer Prevention Center in New York
As Sound Therapist and Sound Practitioners we are aware of the sounds around us are as important as the sounds within us. When we consciously LISTEN to sounds, like music or therapeutic sounds of a Tibetan Bowl or Crystal Bowl we are consciously prepared for what we are taking in. But as we walk down busy streets, drive to work, or even go grocery shopping we are assaulted by sounds in every direction.

As the Sound Waves of every day life is released into the atmosphere (car horns, people yelling, grocery carts crashing together etc.) our body immediately goes into hyper-vigilant mode. This is when the Beta-Brain kicks in with “fight, flight or freeze” creating stress and anxiety. In our modern society we are living more and more in a Beta-Brain world and not even aware of it. It’s has become our new Normal. Our brain wave patterns are now fluctuating between Delta (sleep) and Beta (full alertness) with very little Alpha wave in between. Stress and overachievement is rewarded at home, at school and at work. The long term effects are showing.

  • high blood pressure
  • spike in blood sugar
  • rapid heartbeat
  • weight gain
  • diabetes
  • insomnia
  • aggressive behavior
  • low self esteem

And these are just a few of the many symptoms. The long term effects are overwhelming when we think about them. This not only effects the individual but also the society. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “aggressive driving” incidents have increased by about 7 percent each year since 1990.”  So over the last 35 years it has increased by approximately 245%. Just the thought of getting on the road to go to work is stressful enough!

Imagine yourself at the beach. It seems relaxing enough. But what if that beach was the North Shore of Hawaii in the winter where waves are consistently between 20 to 30 feet tall. That is major stress if you just want to dip your feet in the water. That, it seems, is the world in which we are living.

What you can do or offer to your clients to help:

  • more pleasing wake up alarm clock (zen chime is a great alternative – or program the smart phone for a pleasing but waking song)
  • 3 minutes of deep breathing upon waking
  • reconfigure the ring tones for the phone
  • green tea through out the day
  • 1 minute meditation breaks (see link below)
  • 10 minute exercise or walk at the end of the day
  • turn off the TV and computer 1 hour before bed

When we become aware of the Sounds around us and we take the opportunity to consciously reduce our stress because of them, we are not only helping our world but the world around us. As Sound Therapist our clients depend on us helping them reduce this stress. But remember it does begin with ourselves first!

I created a 1 Minute Meditation that is a featured meditation on the Insight Timer an app designed for meditation. It is free and you can get it for your smart phone by connecting with the app store or on line at

© Don Simmons 2015