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Green Noise and ADHD

It is normally thought that noise is detrimental to cognitive performance and for some people this might be true. For people with ADHD however quite the opposite is true. Many people with ADHD already know that when it comes to the “norm” in many aspects of life that our body’s do the opposite of everyone else. The main difference between us and them is our dopamine levels. As someone with ADHD I can tell you this from personal experience. I can’t focus on anything without some sort of background noise. So why is that?


Well, everything in our physical world effects our dopamine levels, including sound. There is actually an optimum dopamine level as it relates to cognitive function, and wouldn’t you know that the noises that surround you can play a huge part in reaching that ideal level. Now if I have no background noise at all then my gears start spinning faster and faster and I start thinking about a million and one things and before you know it, I can’t focus on one of them. Now the same is true if there are a lot of different noises. If I’m listening to music, my kids both have their iPads going, the TV is on, my wife’s talking on the phone and the dog is barking I get so overwhelmed so fast that I just want to scream SHUT UP!!! I can instantly feel the anxiety in my body start to build and that’s probably it for the rest of the night as far as me having any type of thought process about anything even worth thinking about. My brain just feels like scrambled eggs at that point.


Now if I put on some soothing sounds, some Lo-Fi tracks, or a soft acoustic album I can instantly feel a difference. I can feel my body calm down. I can focus on what I’m doing. Hell, I might even be able to do a little multi-tasking! This is the ideal state of mind for me to be productive in anyway.


This is where green noise fits in perfectly. Now you might be asking what is green noise and how does it work? Green Noise is the mid wave frequencies of white noise. Think of it as kind of the soundtrack of the earth. Wind, waterfalls, birds chirping or a crackling fire. The organic sounds of the world are what make up Green Noise. Well, when isolated, magnified, and listened to in the same way you would listen to white noise it’s supposed to have profound effects on your ability to concentrate and to pay attention to whatever your task is. Specifically for people with ADHD.


Not all green noise is created equally though. When you do a YouTube search for green noise or white noise, you’re going to come up with different channels for every color noise you can think of. White, red, pink, and brown noise channels just to name a few. Most of these channels are just different wave lengths of white noise isolated in the same way but just at different frequencies. Basically, you’re just listening to different pitches of static. The thought behind this is that the different frequencies resonate with your body in different ways and will make you feel different things. For me, this doesn’t work no matter what the frequency is. It’s just noise and it causes anxiety and has quite the opposite effect on me that most experts claim it should. Again, if you have ADHD like myself, I’m sure you also realize that most of the world hits a little different for us.


I instead would like to focus on green noise in its purest form. The true sounds of the forest. The sounds of the ocean. Crickets chirping or a crackling fire. Rain falling on a warm summer night. These types of sounds have a profound effect on my ability to pay attention to what I’m doing and focus on a task or two at hand. If there is no task this also allows me to slow down my mind and zone into the song of the birds or the crashing waves. So, whether you are trying to write a paper or finish a presentation for work or your thinking of trying mediation, give green noise a try!


As I said before that not all green noise is created equally, and I was having a hard time finding the type of sounds I wanted to listen to. So, I have decided to create a YouTube channel dedicated to this. I’m just getting it rolling but I’ll be uploading a few times a week so please go check it out, give it a follow and pick a track. Next time you’re about to start a project at home or need to do some class work, or even just find yourself anxious or irritated, pick a track and see how it makes you feel! You won’t be disappointed!

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