As a neurodivergent person, I can nerd out on neuroscience all day. And, as a voiceover artist, I'm intimately familiar with how the nuances of a human voice can effect the emotional climate of a room. So, any wellness initiative needs to think about the impact of the voices it uses in its content. So, how is the human stress response influenced by auditory input? How does the human voice favor into stress relief?
Understanding the Human Stress Response
Before we dive into the soothing effects of voices, it's crucial to understand how the human stress response works. Traditionally, we've associated stress with the "fight or flight" response. In the face of a perceived threat, our bodies release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to prepare us for action.
But it's not that simple. Recent research has expanded this understanding to include two additional responses: "fawn" and "freeze." These responses are important for comprehending how people react to stress in more nuanced ways:
Now, let's talk about auditory input and its role in managing the stress response. The sounds we hear can have a profound impact on our emotional well-being. While loud and jarring noises can increase stress, soothing sounds, such as the human voice, have the opposite effect.
In the context of the workplace, where stress is a constant companion, listening to voices can be a valuable tool for finding relief. Here are some ways to incorporate this practice into your wellness program.