Aug 8, 2022·edited Aug 8, 2022

>>And it’s hard to filter out the important sounds from the irrelevant ones, so it can’t be fully handled by unconscious processing.

Don't we largely handle background noise with unconscious processing ? We (theoretically) become habituated to repeated stimuli, and only consciously notice it if it changes. E.g., most people unconsciously tune out the whine of the refrigerator or the whir of the airplane engine, after a while. Though I suppose there's a difference between the relatively uniform sound of a fan or fridge, and the relatively constantly-novel sound of unfamiliar music or conversation. Those things are harder to habituate to, though some people seem to manage just fine--e.g., people who enjoy doing work while sitting in coffee shops where people are talking.

At any rate, I seem to be extremely bad at tuning out noises, though, and frequently wear earplugs so that I don't go insane. But there's variation in every trait! What I wouldn't give to be better at habituating to certain tactile sensations (the feeling of wearing a seatbelt or an itchy shirt, say) or even tastes (like arugula, which is supposed to be good for me but tastes like poison).

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I found a pretty good solution, which is foam ear plugs + bluetooth sleep masks, which block out a lot of noise. (https://www.amazon.com/Bluetooth-Headphones-TOPOINT-Microphone-Handsfree/dp/B07DG279MB) Benefit is that you can still listen to music, and can also play white noise.

earbuds with low white noise playing through them + large earmuffs are also pretty good and allow you to listen to music while you work as well, if you decide to

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