Why Sound Matters For Your Concentration

6 Mar '2018 Productivity

A lot of things are distracting for your concentration. Sound is one of the most important ones, as you may have noticed. How does that work?

“Evolution did not equip you to live in a world of constant noise”, Hufftington Post writer Michael Taft points out. “Your nervous system was engineered by natural selection for an environment of almost total quiet. Nature is mostly filled with soft, quiet sounds: leaves rustling, water trickling, insects buzzing.”

“An animal call here and there. This is what your amygdala (the fear center in the brain) rates as a normal sound level. Sharp sounds, loud bangs, people yelling and crying, revving engines and the like all trigger a fear/danger response.”[vc_empty_space empty_h=”2″]

Stress

Those fear and danger responses are supposed to be stressful, and that’s why we get stressed with lots of noise. According to Scientific American, noise can increase stress levels and cause health damages like coronary disease, high blood pressure and migraine headaches (which are also not really beneficial for your stress levels).

It’s necessary though, to realize that concentration works differently for different people. For example, research from Adrian Furnham and Anna Bradley shows that background noise has a bigger negative impact on introverts compared to extroverts. Concentration in silence was the same for both introverts and extroverts, which means that introverts seem to have a bigger need for silence than extroverts.

Everybody is different

That could explain why total silence is very important for some people, while it is unnecessary for others. You can probably think of people who can’t do anything when there is a lot of background noise, and there are also people who don’t mind at all and can just shut off completely to reach total concentration while being in a full train of screaming children.

What works best for you? Let us know, we’re always interested in what you think!