The sanctuary of earphones.

The sanctuary of earphones. If I didn’t have my earbuds I’d fall victim to PTSD more often than I do.

Jonathan Arenburg
Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan is a mental health blogger, published author, and speaker. He has appeared in numerous newspapers and has been a guest on many podcasts.

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Let’s face it, our world is a very noisy place. Nowadays everything beeps, rings or can play a video. And as if that weren’t enough, all the traffic, the large trucks, motorbikes, and overly loud mufflers never stop. All this commotion can do a number on one’s nerves. Or for some of us, can exacerbate our mental-health conditions.

In my case, PTSD and Its Startle Response can make modern living almost intolerable. Despite being scared out of my skin on a constant basis, I do my best. Sometimes through, “my best” is to stay out of the chaos for a reset.

Why is this so? Well, PTSD has primed me to always be on alert. This constant, “on guard” for danger is an eternal hell that is tormented by the noise of the world. Even the seemingly insignificant noise, a clang of a dish or a slam of a door can be all it takes. Consequently, I jump. The next unpredictable sound? I jump. Like carbon monoxide, these constant jarring encounters build until I am symptomatic and too sick to be in public.

While it’s not easy to integrate into this overly-loud planet, I refuse to be defeated by the post-traumatic alarm bells that never stop ringing. So, despite having to make a hurried retreat at times from society, I always come back to the frontlines and have a go at life once more.

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Thankfully, this venture back into the man-made jungle is made easier with the right tools. Firstly, I cope because of the sanctuary of earphones. Let’s face it, the world is never going to accommodate people like me, I mean, how can it? Therefore, tools like my earbuds allow me to dampen down life’s volume.

But this is far from the only tool out there. For example, the following list of things have helped me inch closer to my wellness goals.

  • Diet – eating your veggies and clean meats can optimize your blood sugar, making the world more tolerable
  • Exercise – can increase blood flow to the brain and boost mood, and thus tolerance to one’s surroundings.
  • Sleep – Arguably the single most important thing for mental health. Not only does it restore the mind and body, but it also helps you lose weight.
  • Mindfulness – Learning to live in the moment, to breathe and make yourself aware of what you are doing in the now can help you tolerate the unexpected noise of the community.
  • Therapy This should always be included in your wellness journey. A good therapist can use their skills to call attention to your triggers and help you build the skillsets to navigate the world. One example is cognitive behavioural therapy

What is cognitive behavioural therapy

  • Medication – Lastly but no less important is medications. The data is clear on the use of drugs as a mental illness treatment. While it may not work for everyone, I have seen it make a difference, and not only in my own journey; I’ve witnessed its positive effects on others.

With all these interventions, I’m still grateful for the sanctuary of my earphones

It really is unfortunate.

Even though there is little we can do to mute the world to our mental-wellness benefit, we can use the above to help us get back to living our lives. However, if the world becomes too much for you and your need to be in a crowded place, the following may help.

  • Ask if they can set you in the quietest spot possible.
  • Ask if they can turn down the music, TVs etc. Too much noise is overwhelming.
  • If there is a quiet room you can escape to, don’t ever fear excusing yourself for a few moments.
  • The sanctuary of earphones if by yourself can be a lifesaver – use ’em!
  • Close your eyes and take a moment to breath deep, in through the nose and slowly out through the mouth. You need it, so don’t worry about what others think.
Earbuds are an amazing tool to have at the ready when the world becomes too much. – Ah, The sanctuary of earphones.

Lastly, please try to be kind to yourself. If you are trying all these things and still end up not being able to cope, it’s okay. What’s most important is, you keep working on healing as you travel down the road to mental wellness. – you got this!

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Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental health blogger, S speaker, writer, and published author; He is also the host of the mental wellness podcast, #thewellnesstalksHe has also appeared in the i'Mpossible's Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental health talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has also written for the mental health advocacy organization; Sick Not Weak.Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts Including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental wellness journey while helping others along the way.Educated as an addictions' counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years, working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness.He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community.His new book (2021), “The Road To Mental Wellness,” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one's life; right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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