I don’t need to be a mind-reader to know that many of the resolutions put forth to better ourselves this year involve waistlines or wallets. If you think about it, most of the senses are accounted for – eating healthier (taste), exercising more (touch), traveling (sight), and slowing down to (smell) the roses. However, what about our sense of hearing?
Here are 5 resolutions to sonically curate 2015 and improve your life with the power of sound.
1. Reflect what works (and what doesn’t)
Take a day to reflect on what actually is getting passed through your ears. Consider a 24-hour audio journal to record and think on the sounds you hear in a day. From morning commute to evening chirps outside as you drift to sleep, take note of what was good, what was bad and how you can prolong or avoid those things in the future.
2. Throw out the sonic trash
Did you know sound can cause fatigue – and for those who live and work in urban settings that comes as no surprise. Recently, the Metropolitan Transit Authority finalized the process of removing alarms from all of the subway station emergency exits since they no longer served their purpose. The constant shrill cry of the alarm was an everyday occurrence, not a notification that needed attention as hundreds tried to find a faster way to exit and there was little enforcement to make them stop. In the same way, consider what is causing burnout in your own life (perhaps after consulting your audio journal) and see if there’s a way to correct it. It could be as easy as changing the tune on your alarm clock!
3. Explore a new path
Maybe there’s a sweet melody out there you don’t even know exists yet. Try taking a new route to work in the morning – you’ll immediately be extra aware of your surroundings as you acclimate to the new environment. Or maybe it’s as simple as turning a different corner on an afternoon walk. You can also take new digital paths – try a new streaming radio station where you can discover new music or online generators that showcase bands of the day – then actually give them a listen! Check out out some ways you can change your mood.
4. Immerse yourself in a live experience
Whether it’s a punk band in a tiny dive bar or a fancy evening out to a night at the opera, getting outside and into a venue can lead to a strong, visceral experience. The acoustics of the building, the amount of people inside and the speaker system being used will all influence how you experience the space. Take note and rock out. These experiences can raise our serotonin levels.
5. Create white space
Like graphic design, sound design can have white space too – that minimalistic area that brings a sense of calm and harmony in its emptiness or quiet. Don’t forget to allow room from time to time to allow for that balance.
Happy New Year!