The sounds of our Environment

The definition of Sound

What is sound? Sound isn’t just something we hear with our ears, sound is a relm of wayveforms that contain a set of particular frequencies amplitudes, that continuously swirl with harmonic resonance, (Adams, C., M.D., Healing with Sound, 2012) These waveforms are important to all living creatures. In order for us to communicate with each other, and receive information about our environment, we must truly listen to the sounds that fill our daily lives.

Listening to the world around us

What sounds do you hear either at work in your office, or at home on the couch. Personally, while sitting at my desk in my bedroom, I hear the sound of the air conditioner humming in the window to my left, I hear the fan at my door cooling the other bedrooms and the hallway, my fingers typing on my bluetooth keyboard, and the builtin screenreader on my iPhone and my computer as they read text I have written for a book I am working on entitled Embracing the Healing Power of Music, and while I am writing this post.
As a blind person, it is important for me to pay special attention to these details, in order for me to become oriented to my surroundings. But I have a question for those of you who are sighted. Can you identify the everyday sounds of your environment? Can you truly filter out the sounds that are pleasant to your ear, or do you simply go about your daily life, letting the sounds wash over you without paying any special attention to them? According to Don Campbell, in his book called Healing at the Speed of Sound with Alex Doman, “Sound is everywhere–it is as much a part of our lives as the air we breathe and the food we eat.” Did you know that sound can be just as beneficial to our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being as the food we eat, and the preventative measures we take, such as deciding not to smoke, getting plenty of sleep, and exercise? The health benefits of sound hadn’t been seriously considered until recently, Campbell explains in the introduction to Healing at the Speed of sound 2011.
On a personal note, I have relied on other senses, (especially my hearing) to compensate for my lack of sight, but I didn’t know about the healing venefits of music or sound in general, until I discovered the healing power of music after being emotionally abused. It is important for us to stop what we’re doing for a moment, close our eyes, and let the sounds of nature, and the music we love to hear resonate through our bodies, so that we may receive the health benefits of something as simple as the sound of a bird singing in the trees.
Wake up with pleasant sounds

The sounds you wake up to each morning, have a profound affect on your overall mood during the day. For example, if you wake up to the beep or buzz of an alarm clock, honking car horns, people shouting outside your open window or in another part of your home etc., these sounds can make you feel grumpy and irritable. However, if you wake up to the sounds of birds singing in a tree outside your window, wind chimes blowing in the breeze as I often do, or a song you have specially chosen to wake you up in the morning, these sounds will make you feel calm and bring a smile to your face.

Questions for Self-reflection or discussion
Here are a couple of questions for you to discuss with a friend. You can also write them in a reflection journey. If you wish, you can share your personal answers to these questions in the comments below. Do you wake up to these pleasant sounds, or the busy humdrum of the city? How do the sounds of your environment effect your daily life? When you take a brief moment to truly listen to the sounds that surround you, what have you discovered about your world?


Adams, Case, PH.D.
Healing With sound,
Campbell, Don/Doman, Alex
Healing at the Speed of Sound

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