Noise is Bad for More Than Just Your Hearing

 

 

The ill-effects of noise on hearing are well-documented. However, did you ever consider that extensive exposure to noise could harm you in other ways, too?

Compromised Sleep

If you work in an urban environment or share space with a lot of people and machinery, chances are you in a pretty noisy environment. Prolonged exposure is bad for your hearing, but it can also ruin your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Study after study is showing just how important an adequate amount of rest is for both mind and body. If you are trying to sleep in an environment that is distracting enough to delay, prevent, or disrupt your rest, you will notice. Physically and mentally you will be sluggish and not at your best. Not only can that negatively affect your job performance, it can cause you to make errors in judgment that might even lead to accidents.

Stress

When we feel stressed, stress hormones (eg. cortisol) are created and they can throw off your cholesterol levels. The almost inevitable result is hypertension and heart disease. If you are in a place where the noise is making your blood boil, it could be doing long-term damage.

Mental Health

If you are constantly angry, or feeling defeated and hopeless for a prolonged period, it can negatively impact your mental health, leading to issues like depression and anxiety disorder. If you are in a noisy area and you cannot bring down the volume, it will eventually effect your overall well-being.

Alas, it looks like the world’s volume level continues to go up, so that means additional effort on your part to find time each day in a quiet, relaxing space where you can decompress.

For starters, here is some “noise” that is good for you and will help to lower those stress levels:

Medication Now Free for Ontario Residents Under 25

If you live in Ontario, chances are you have heard about the rise in the minimum wage to $14 an hour. However, equally exciting, especially for families, is the new rule regarding medication for those under 25. Effective immediately, those in that age bracket will receive their medication free.

The program is called OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare and available to the province’s 4 million citizens under the age of 25.

This is excellent news! Senior citizens already enjoy such an accommodation, but it is particularly good that another vulnerable portion of society has one less worry. For lower-income families, every penny counts. Drug and dispensing costs may not be much of a burden if there is an occasional cold. However, when more serious problems occur, and there are several children, this can be a significant financial burden. Generic drugs have helped to reduce costs, but some medications are not available in this format, so the monthly expenses can really add up.

The new law also makes things easier for students. With the rising costs of tuition, books, and accommodation, many college and university students are having a tough time. Even having a part-time job is not always allowing these hard-working young people the chance to break even each month.

The Ontario government’s actions follow a report earlier this year that showed Canadians pay far more for prescriptions than those in comparable high-income countries that also have universal health care.

All that is required to receive free medication is an OHIP card and a valid prescription. In all, 4400 medications fall into this category, all of which can be found in the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary. Premier Kathleen Wynne mentioned that she hopes to eventually expand the program to all ages, and looks to discuss this later in the year with representatives of the federal government.

Maximize Your Lunch Break

Many people are busier than ever and struggle to get everything done during the course of a day. When that doesn’t happen, things often fall by the wayside. Sometimes these are such minor parts of daily life that we don’t even notice. However, important things, like exercise and proper rest, can also suffer.

The most workable solution is to maximize your day and make better use of the time currently available. One such occasion we can use for this is our lunch break. Here are two ways you can make better use of time that is available five days a week.

Exercise

When people are short on time, one of the first things to suffer is, sadly, their physical health. If you have a half hour lunch break, there isn’t really time to exercise, aside from taking a short walk after you eat.

However, if you have an hour, this gives you more opportunity to get out there for a walk or possibly even a jog. Don’t worry about breaking a sweat (not desirable anyway when you must get back to work); this is simply about staying active. If you have a sedentary job, such as office work, that extra movement during lunch can help to make the rest of your day more physically comfortable.

Stop Looking at Screens

It can be tempting to simply zone out with your phone during lunch. There is nothing wrong with quickly checking e-mail and messages, but answer only those that require an immediate reply. This is the chance to give your eyes a rest. You can further enhance this period by getting out of your usual working area and enjoying a change of scenery.

Don’t ever think of this as wasted time; your brain is recharging and you will be better able to meet the challenges that follow.

Trying To Improve Our Quality Of Life

What is quality of life? When asked, most people would rank having a good quality of life as high in their priorities. However, many people aren’t able to meet this. The boundaries between each role in their lives aren’t clearly defined.

We each have different roles in our lives. For example, my roles are: Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Volunteer, Professional Life, and Myself. People tend to merge their roles together, thus their view of self becomes muddled. I think this led to the’ Who am I, and What is my purpose’ questions.

Many people live reactionary lives where they find themselves always putting out fires and never living the lives of their dreams. Is that you? Make the choice to deliberately start living life on your terms by choosing to be proactive about your life choices.

Random Mind Blab About Quality Of Life

Stephen Covey, in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, says the first habit is be proactive. I read that book in 1989 and that principle still resonates with me. Many people live lives of default. They wake up in the morning and life just happens to them. They don’t make choices. Instead they spend a great deal of time trying to emerge from things that happen to them. They invest their time and energy reacting instead of being proactive.

When at work, people are thinking about personal relationships and home stress. Therefore, they miss a quality work-life, because they’re not completely present at work.

When at home, people can get fixated on what should be done at work. This leads to a minimum quality home-life. You cannot be on your Blackberry and play with your kids at the same time.

When spending time with friends, people can be fixated on family or work, resulting in poor quality time with their friends. When you’re with your friends, you should talk about what’s going on in your life. It is important to share your joy and frustrations with the ones you trust and care about. However, when you’re talking about life, don’t let your mind wander to the statement you must turn in tomorrow, or what treat you’ll make for soccer practice. Be an active portion of the conversation.

There are times when I get together with friends and we bring our children. Yes, we do have fun, but the conversation is very different. The humor and topics are different; we’re more censored. The time spent together isn’t the same thing as when we have girl time without our children.

The same can be stated for having a date night with your partner. Yes, it is fun to go out with another couple, but the quality time between you and your mate is different. You are unable to connect in the same development when there are other people in the mix.

What is the definition for ‘quality of life ‘? My definition is being completely present in every situation. Be at work. Be with your friends. Be with your family. Be in this moment.

Material possessions are the definition of ‘quality of life ‘, for some people. A large home, designer clothes, and a luxury car will probably be essential criteria for many in the contemporary society. Often, when people believe this definition, they tend to concentrate on the next big thing, or outdoing their social group, thus the important things are ignored. This category of people worry about what others have, rather than with an emphasis on the blessings of the moment.

Often, people want something, new jewelry, new car, etc. When they purchase it, they feel great for a couple of weeks, but then the fun wears off. They are again aware of their issues and aren’t feeling happy. Material things cannot sustain a good quality of life.

Decide how you ‘d like to feel about yourself, your lives and the people around you. Sometimes we’re mightily attached to our negativity and after such a release it might feel a little awkward. That’s because nature abhors a void. The next stage is to fill that void with positive thoughts about your life and positive feelings of anticipation for a fresh start in your new year. Notice how you feel just thinking about your life in this new way.

When I listed the roles in my day, I included the role of ‘Myself’. It is important to recognize that ‘you’ are deserving of your undivided attention too. How often do you attempt to take time for yourself, but instead find yourself thinking about everyone and everything else? Pay attention to your dreams, feelings, and goals. Know what makes you happy. In order to be present in other aspects of your lives, you must first learn how to be present to yourself.

To have a high quality of life, you must live in the moment. Do not bring other relationships and worries where they do not belong. There is a time and place for everything. Get to know every role of your life and devote the time needed to each one. How you define your roles will affect your quality of life.