In one of our past blogs, we talked about how noise pollution could affect auditory processing and how this is often a challenge of the brain, not really the ear.
Even with that said, however, the way the brain processes information from sound has strong neuroscientific implications on the way we also derive energy from it. It can have a wide impact on how we understand our own physical and mental health.
In fact, not a lot of people are even aware that the brain is processing energy through sound all the time! When you pay more attention though, it can be pretty handy for making the most out of your brain’s potential.
After all, that’s why we’ve certainly done a lot of our own work to understand this phenomenon better.
Still, if it is a bit tricky to grasp, you need only look at basic physics. Sound is a form of energy. And when that energy reaches our inner ear, it is then transferred through the mechanism of vibration. The energy then travels as the signals generated by our inner ear to the brain.
How the brain processes and uses this energy is still the subject of much research. (In fact, it has been suggested that certain frequencies of sound result in more brain energisation than others.) On the other hand, what is certain is that these processes also consume energy and it can certainly be a factor when it comes to understanding mental exhaustion.
Consider trying the following habits if you’d like to be more aware of your brain’s use of sound energy and make a little improvement to your daily life.
1. Work on your auditory processing.
Auditory processing is the function that allows the brain to draw meaningful distinctions in sound. It is actually part of our greater executive function, which represents all the core motor, cognitive and behaviour skills we use everyday.
However, it is not a well-known topic and many often underestimate just how exhausting it can be for the brain to push all its executive functioning skills. These functions also start to deteriorate as we grow older unless we start actively exercising them (be it through lifestyle changes, as well as supportive brain training programs).
2. Look back on your history with sound.
If you have ever used music to lift up your mood or help you stay focused, then it might be because you have made some powerful associations in your brain with particular tunes. This, too, is a frequently documented brain phenomenon.
More specifically, it is tied to neuroplasticity and the way your brain is currently structured has been greatly shaped by your history with sound. It can explain why your brain may be more exhausted when trying to work in a particular environment while being energised in others.
3. Be aware that listening is not a purely psychological task.
It’s commonly believed that listening to other people when they have problems is only good behaviour. However, like all good things, it can turn bad when done too much.
This is because the act of listening uses various parts of your brain (such as your amygdala and your prefrontal cortex) at varying intensities. You have to be mindful of when to speak. You have to process the information of what the person is saying. You also have to maintain concentration.
All of these are not purely psychological tasks. These indeed consume a lot of energy and being aware of it can help you when and when not to be the ‘good listener’ in a given situation.
On a final note, it is best to always keep in mind that we are being bombarded by sound all the time. In fact, this has been the case since our time in the womb. The brain is a powerful machine for being able to process and filter it all. But still, this machine has limits and its best to pay attention when it is starting to tire out!
If you need any advice or support, then know that we at the Australian Tomatis Method are still here to help you. Please reach out if you need to, either by email at email@example.com or by phone to Francoise at 0414 444 915.