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6 Background Noise Generators that Can Fire up Your Creative Powers

6 Background Noise Generators that Can Fire up Your Creative Powers

Either you require total silence from your workplace or you like an office that supplies ambient noises. Digging deeper into the subject, research data show that most (if not all) people become more productive when exposed to some ambient background noises. I’m a perfect example, although, I’m a combination of the two. When I’m reading emails and searching for photos for my blog posts, I love listening to music and ambient noises, but when writing serious articles, I tend to block (no, I need to delete) all noises as much as possible. Anyway, I surmise, most creatives love ambient noises. Sometimes blended with music, at times plain ambient. And other times just music. Well, to me, I have moods, so… I have various choices every now and then. So much about me, let’s turn to you. If you’ve always told friends, “this place has deafening silence” then most probably, you belong to the ambient-noise-needing category; workers who produce more when exposed to soft noises.

An office environment naturally exposes workers to background noises. At times, to the point where it turns disruptive. Most people would have no choice but to leave even temporarily. What about people who work from home, like me? Most use their radios as background while working, or they turn the TV on. After sometime, though, they’d realize they’re actually being distracted. Now, the key idea is–find indistinct, and subtle sounds as useful workplace background. Fortunately, there are several tools ready to supply all the soft noises your system requires.

Simply Noise

Simply noise

    This service does not use nondescript background chatter like another site, it’s a color noise generator. I’m sure you’ve heard of white noise (i.e. a turned on vacuum). This website provides three types of color noises. White (the most effective for distraction blocking; great for maintaining focus, writing, reading, and studying), Pink (perfect for relaxing the mind and body due to its stress-melting capabilities), and Brown (good aid for inducing sleep, soothing migraines, and pacifying children). Provided on Simply Noise is a sliding volume control, a sleep timer, and oscillation button (this one is my fave–you can set it, so, the volume will automatically rise and fall). As you can tell by now, Simply Noise is simple to use. Just select your color, set the volume you are comfy with, and you’re set to reap the benefits. 

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    Coffitivity

    Coffitivity

      This wonderfully designed site provides three backgrounds: Morning Murmur (a gentle hum, which is my fave; especially when I’m starting my day, sipping my cappuccino and going through my to-do list), Lunchtime Lounge (bustling chatter), and University Undertones (campus cafe). A pause button is provided whenever you need a bladder break (rest room trip, if you prefer that), and a sliding volume control to give you the freedom to find the perfect level for your needs and moods.

      Also available as an Android appiOS app, and Mac desktop if you’d choose to have one less open tab on your browser. 

      Simply Rain

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      Simply Rain

        From the same founders of Simply Noise, this website offers the pleasant sound of rain.

        The dashboard features a slide volume control, sliding intensity control (gentle shower to heavy storm), thunder mode (often, few, rare), oscillation button, and a sleep timer. Nothing too fancy…just pleasurable background noise for those who find the sound of rainfall to be soothing and comforting.

        Also available: iOS app (99 cents). 

        Rainy Cafe

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        Rainy Cafe

          This service combine two features (a perfect blend, actually). Rainy Cafe provides background chatter in coffee shops (similar to Coffitivity) AND the sound of rain (similar to Simply Rain). It provides individual volume and on/off control for each sound category. You can listen to only the background noise, or you can only enjoy the rain noises, or you can opt to listen to both as a nice combo. A minimalist site, if you’ll ask my opinion, yet it rocks.

          No apps available at the moment. 

          Rainy Mood

          rainy mood_10

            As the name reveals, this site focuses on the sound of gentle rain. But it enhances the service by providing a full screen background video, what else, rain on a window pane (that includes an on/off button), and it gives you the prerogative to add the “song of the day” to the the rain audio as well. It allows you to pick from three volume settings. Just click on the speaker icon that is situated at the bottom of the screen to make adjustments.

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            Also available: iOS app ($3.99) and Android app ($3.99). 

            Jazz and Rain

            jazz and rain

              Last, but not the least, Jazz and Rain is pretty straightforward in terms of what it does. The name says it all. Its dashboard includes a sliding rain volume control and pause button, and a jazz volume control, skip and repeat buttons. An additional nice feature is the music title online appears on screen, so if you hear something you love, you’ll know the artist and the title.

              Currently no apps available.

              Each one of us has work preferences, and some need some peace and quiet to get things done. However, if you belong to the other group, especially when you’re a creative, these six audio services provide a fabulous mix of chatter, rain, color noise, and instrumental music. All of which works pretty well at obliterating the deafening silence that’s hindering you from productive work.

              Featured photo credit: Photo Credit: @superamit via Compfight cc via Compfight.com

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              Anthony Dejolde

              TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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              Last Updated on July 17, 2019

              The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

              The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

              What happens in our heads when we set goals?

              Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

              Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

              According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

              Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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              Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

              Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

              The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

              Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

              So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

              Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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              One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

              Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

              Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

              The Neurology of Ownership

              Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

              In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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              But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

              This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

              Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

              The Upshot for Goal-Setters

              So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

              On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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              It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

              On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

              But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

              More About Goals Setting

              Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

              Reference

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