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Using headphones for shutting out the world with music
By Carl ToersBijns, former deputy warden, ASPC Eyman, Florence AZ
Published: 07/14/2014


“Things will happen in your life that you can’t stop but that's no reason to shut out the rest of the world...there’s a purpose for the good and the bad.”

One out of five correctional officers suffer from severe stress or anxiety related to either the job or the family. This often creates situations where they shun being in public places. They worry too much about what can happen or go wrong so they choose to stay home instead.

Certainly, this is not a desirable option to take to get away from it all. There are other meaningful ways to get help coping with stress or anxiety. Stress should not keep you homebound or from driving, shopping, socializing and meeting with friends and families.

Sadly some extreme cases carry with it a fear of being out in public because they fear they may have or experience a panic attack. There are definite signs to look for with this debilitation condition that impacts more people than we realize. Some of the symptoms are fear of being alone, fear of losing control, isolation, becoming overly dependent on others and some physical symptoms such as abdominal pain or cramps, chest pains, dizziness, nausea and sweating. The severity depends on how much you keep it inside of you.

Take the time to see what you are experiencing instead of ignoring it hoping it [the feelings or fear] will go away. Check and ask your family if there is family history of anxiety or mood disorders and relatives who had good or bad experiences in their lives and how they coped with them. Historically, women will suffer anxiety or panic attacks four times more than men and many of these symptoms begin around the mid-twenties and peak as you reach middle age. You are not born with this fear or condition.

Sensing a threat, real or unreal, creates a hormonal conditions and secretes these hormones into our system. It makes the heart race faster, our lungs tend to suck in more air and we sometimes hyperventilate. We sweat and shake sometimes and these episodes can either be rare or frequent depending on how you deal with this phobia as it requires little stimulation to act out.

Thankfully, a good set of ear buds or headphones can shut out your world. After spending hours and hours of talking and listening and coping with good or bad people at work or office you can quietly find a quiet place wherever you are by putting on a pair of headphones and get some quiet hours while blocking chatty people and giving you some peace. There are other things you can do as well. You can read a book and listen to the music. You can go for a walk or take a jog in the park while listening to your own mind reflecting thoughts created by the music you have selected and playing.

Coping with stress and anxiety is a necessity when you perform stressful or high demanding job. Correction officers deserve some peace and quiet and music is one effective avenue to find that solace you are looking for after a hard day’s work or night inside the penitentiary.

Corrections.com author, Carl ToersBijns, (retired), has worked in corrections for over 25 yrs He held positions of a Correctional Officer I, II, III [Captain] Chief of Security Mental Health Treatment Center – Program Director – Associate Warden - Deputy Warden of Administration & Operations. Carl’s prison philosophy is all about the safety of the public, staff and inmates, "I believe my strongest quality is that I create strategies that are practical, functional and cost effective."

Other articles by ToersBijns:


  1. StephanieCasey on 02/18/2020:

    Headphones have changed a lot of things, and the best thing when you buy beats is that you don't have to listen to other people's conversation when you're walking on the street. That's just awesome, in my opinion.

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