Is the sound of your phone making you sick?

Transcript of the Feature ‘Health Matters’ on Radio X from 19 May 2014

I’m Tom Meyers Stress Coach and welcome to another episode of Health Matters. Where take a closer look at the S word that has become one of the biggest challenges in our modern day society: Stress.

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Don’t laugh but today I would like to talk about the ringtone of your mobile phone and the possible stress evoking effect it can have on your body.

Please hear me out and tell me afterwards if my logic has any ground for consideration and change of behaviour.

Imagine you’re sitting in a quite place and the phone of the person next to you goes off. When it is a gentle ringing tone you probably don’t flinch. However more and more people seem to have a hearing problem or are so anxious that they won’t hear their phone go off that they have it ringing at full volume.

I think you get the picture and the effect of that sudden loud noise is you tense up, go instantly into a hyper-vigilant state of alert mode with muscles contracting until you realise it’s a phone going off… however your heart that has started racing takes a bit longer to calm down.

ALARM

Another element that has to be mentioned here is that some people instead of a gentle alerting ringing tone install a ringing tone that sounds like a fire alarm going off… call me what you like but WHAT? Think about it for a minute.  For generations now the sound of an alarm is associated with DANGER… a sign that you must protect yourself… run to survive, get away…

Each time I notice how my body reacts to these unexpected sounds… yes, with the same stress response as I would have in case of a real emergency.

A stress response that in these cases are completely unnecessary.

Cognitively I know it is a phone ringing… but my body isn’t as tuned in to all the new technological gadgets and it reacts with a survival response for no good reason at al.

Ok you have such a ringing tone on your mobile don’t think you’re spared from the same reaction and consequences…

If your stress levels are under control, managed well, then there isn’t a problem.

The point I like to make is that when stress levels aren’t under control these small seemingly insignificant stressors add up and contribute to chronic stress which in turn leads to dis-ease.

What I personally do is as soon as I’m aware I’ve tensed up I practice the Reaset breathing exercise until I feel my body and heart rate are somewhat back to normal again.

All that said the mobile phone is not the only gadget that has a sound to attract your attention… your alarm clock in the morning is another… How do you wake up? To the sound of the birds singing, a classical tune or a menacing horn.

Within a world were coming to rest in body and mind has become something of an oddity and stress the rule the result is well… dis-ease.

The positive note is you can change, tweak your life, your thoughts, your outlook, events, situations that health doesn’t become an endangered species but becomes you, the fruit of your efforts.

I’m Tom Meyers Osteopath and Stress Coach for Body and Mind and contributor of thought to your health and wellbeing.

Would you like to know more about my work or Understanding & Managing Stress presentations then go to tommeyers.be

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