16 Mar Choose your Earplugs and Earphones wisely to improve your attitude to life
I’ve been working away from the office a lot recently, travelling many miles on a plane and on the road, and stopping in numerous hotels. This may not be something you’re familiar with, so can you remember the last time you stayed away from home in a hotel or Airbnb? Perhaps it was a family holiday or a school trip.
Usually, when you travel you get to pick up little freebie toiletries such as eye masks, shower caps, shampoos, soaps, or a toothbrush with the cutest tube of toothpaste! I must admit I love them. Sometime you might get a pair of socks or a blanket, especially if you’ve travelled long distance on a plane. It’s such a novelty factor – even if you don’t actually need or want the stuff you take them anyway! Free stuff (yay!!!), who doesn’t love that?
Earplugs – your barrier to silence
One freebie I seem to be acquiring frequently at the moment is earplugs. You know the ones, small and made from squishy foam. I’ve got a blue pair, a green pair, a yellow pair and an orange pair … I’ve yet to bag a purple pair though so keep you’re eyes open for me if you will!
It’s funny because I don’t personally wear them so I’m unsure as to whether they work and if I’m honest, I’m a bit scared that if they do work then I might miss something important, like hearing my morning wake-up alarm! Do you wear earplugs?
I have friends that use them. One friend wears them at night because she has noisy neighbours and another friend’s partner snores so they both use the earplugs to block out unwanted sound in an attempt to have a good night’s sleep. Hotels often give them to guests, if they are located next to a train line or by a flight path, to ensure they have a good kip during their stay.
It’s not just external noise that needs blocking out
Earplugs got me thinking on a deeper level about the whole noise concept. These spongy plugs are designed to block out external noise and make it quieter for us. But sometimes we need to block out a different kind of noise. I’m not referring to heavy traffic or loud snorers, I’m talking about the negativity around us such as bad news, people moaning and groaning, and useless gossip. I’m talking about the kind of noise that we don’t want to get sucked into.
Can you think about a time when your friends or family were talking about a bad situation or maybe there was a negative news story on the television or a social media post that made you feel a bit sick or uneasy? You don’t need to get sucked into this kind of unhelpful noise. Personally, I avoid negative people, unhelpful music, bad news headlines, and I think I’m allergic to unenthusiastic people! How much better would the world be if everything we came into contact with, everything we saw or heard, was positive? One hundred per cent better I’m sure of it!
But thinking a little deeper still, sometimes it’s not even the outside noise that’s the problem. Often it’s the noise that goes on inside your own head that needs to be blocked out. It’s the sixty thousand thoughts whizzing around inside your head chattering away every minute of the day. How cool would it be if there were hi-tech earplugs available that could block out that chatter? Have you ever had those thoughts that seem to play on a loop in your head? They just keep going round and round, starting over and over. It’s like carrying a tune inside that you keep singing and just can’t get rid of. And it’s normally a song you can’t stand!
The same can be said for events, comments or thoughts about what might happen. These thoughts are often negative in nature and most likely, each time you go over them, you make it a tad worse. You scold yourself about what you could have done, should have done, or would do if it happened again. Yes, you might have been able to react quicker or remember something sooner, but can you change it now? Chances are that the answer is ‘no’, so don’t beat yourself up about it.
“Don’t be a victim of negative self-talk. Remember you are listening.”
Put the positive stuff back in
When was the last time you wore a pair of earphones to listen to music, a podcast, an audiobook or had a conversation with a friend? Sometimes you block out the world around you to have a little privacy, to be in your own space, or to avoid being interrupted by a stranger on a train or in the street. It can be an anti-social thing but more likely it’s just because you want to retreat and be yourself with the ‘noise’ you enjoy.
I like to think of these activities as an opportunity rather than an excuse to block people out. What you are doing when you wear your earphones is a process of proactively selecting your preferred noise. You are making a personal choice with what you put in, but are you making a good choice? Do you turn to doom and gloom if you’re feeling down?
It never ceases to amaze me how many people watch a sad movie or listen to miserable songs when they’re feeling down. Why? If you’re already in a negative place, surely that’s going to make you feel worse! If you had an argument with a friend or your homework grade was much lower than you anticipated why would you want to feel gloomier? It’s odd isn’t it? What will work to counteract your low state of mind is upbeat music. A rhythm that’s happy, a song with inspiring lyrics, a tempo that makes you smile and want to sing out loud. Not too loud mind you, still take care of your ears J
The last thing you should do if you feel low is to call a friend who will relate to your bad thoughts. The best thing to do is to reach out to someone who will make you laugh, find joyful memories to relive and add some humour to your day. I would choose the latter every time.
“You are the choices that you make.”
Choose your earplugs and earphones wisely
To summarise, what goes into your head affects what you think about. Consequently, what you think about affects how you feel, and how you feel affects what you do next and what actions you take.
One of the best ways to put optimistic thoughts into your head is to fall asleep thinking about something good. Better still, pop your earphones on (or in) and drift off listening to a positive story, upbeat music, relaxing self-hypnosis or calming meditation. Try to use earphones or earbuds that are ergonomically designed for sleeping to avoid unnecessary pressure around your ear and getting wrapped up in the wire. Otherwise if, before you drift off, you can gently pop your earphones off so that you don’t get in a tangle whilst sleeping then that’s great. Keep those lovely thoughts going as you go to sleep. And if you wake, then you can always have a few more minutes with them before quietly putting them to one side.
The powerful thing here is that once your conscious mind falls asleep to recharge your batteries, your subconscious mind stays awake and absorbs all the great messages you’re feeding it. And guess what? You wake the next morning feeling amazing and ready to take on the world. It’s effortless and you gain great results. Go on, try it tonight and let me know what you choose to ‘positively put in’ and how you feel the next day.
If you’re unsure, I have loads of playlists, podcasts, audiobooks and meditations that I’m happy to share with you. In fact, let’s swap!
“A negative mind will never give you a positive life.”
Choose the life you want to lead
The moral of the story in today’s blog is to be proactive about what you let in and what you block out. Listen intentionally and with purpose and take conscious control of your earplugs and earphones.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about today’s ramblings and how you connected with the serious message I’m trying to get across.
Connect with me on social media or drop me an email by clicking here if you’d like to see how we could work together if you need help blocking serious negative thoughts out.
Until next time, let as much positivity in and filter out all the negatives you can. You’ll be a better person for it.