Do you find the sound of other people chewing repulsive? Do you hate sitting at the table with other people while they eat? It’s something many of us can relate to, while many are oblivious to it. For those who just can’t stand this sound, we’ve got some good news, science says you’re more creative and even smarter than others.
Misophonia – The hatred of sound, do you suffer from it?
The word misophonia was first coined back in 2000, to describe extreme sensitive to sound, while miophonic people are the individuals who suffer from it. This condition may be more popular or familiar under the term select sound sensitivity syndrome or even sound rage.
The Journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience study described the condition back in 2013 as follows:
“Misophonics experience panic, anxiety and rage upon hearing certain trigger sounds, which compromises their ability to perform the most menial tasks and prevent them from normal social interactions”
What does an episode of misophonia look like?
When an episode of misophonia is set in motion, certain sounds triggering it, the part of your brain in charge of the fight or flight response is activated. Your body starts releasing stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisone) and your alertness and heart rate increase.
Misophonic people haven’t heard anything positive about their condition until now. However, according to a recent study, it seems that these individuals have a much more developed creativity compared to people who’re not misophonic. What is this owed to? It seems that something called leaky sensory gating is responsible for this.
Creative people are often unable to adequately filter out the background noise and are usually distracted by sounds like chewing, pen-clicking and slurping. In other words, certain people get more affected by the everyday bombing of sensory information and have sensory filters that leak.
But how is this connected to the creative processes?
The study’s lead author, Darya Zabelina, says it’s all connected to the divergent thinking or the thought process used to produce creative ideas and come up with genius and unique solutions to a problem. The main difference between regular people and misophonics is that regular people can block the external sound much better or have a less leaky sensory filters. This enables them to filter out all the annoying sounds like chewing and slurping which prompt the creation of new ideas.
You’d assume that misophonics would be at a disadvantage because they aren’t capable of filtering all the irrelevant sounds which distract them from the task at hand. However, the study reveals quite the contrary, that creativity is connected to a leakier sensory gating. Zabelina points out that this is because the individuals who’re unable to filter out the background noises are able to include a broader focus and stimuli in the thinking process and come up with more creative solutions.
How to cope with misophonia?
Misophonia can be rather challenging, even if it does mean you’re a creative genius, it still doesn’t relieve the fact that every sound around you can trigger an episode. But worry not, we’ve got a set of 4 coping tactics which will help you block out the noises and lead a normal life:
- Earphones are your best friend – Whenever you feel your background is getting overwhelming, just plug them in and play a sound you enjoy and problem solved.
- When you eat turn on some background noise – This way you’ll eliminate the trigger that is the sound of people chewing and slurping.
- It’s the sound that annoys you, not the person who’s making it – Remember that you’re triggered by a sound and this is what’s causing your episode, you’ve got no beef with the person and they’re not intentionally trying to drive you insane.
- Find out more on the topic – Get informed, read about it, find a support group that tackles the same problem and you’ll learn more about how you can control it.
Article and image source: http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com