Nature's sounds improve well-being — reducing stress and even pain
City-dwellers can also reap the benefits of nature sounds even with traffic noise in the background
Feeling a little better now that spring has sprung and the birds are back with their songs to wake you up?
It's not just the warmth and welcome sunlight after a long hard winter that's making you feel better, the sounds that come with spring — the rushing water and birds chirping — are also affecting your health and well-being for the better.
In a new paper in the journal PNAS, scientists reviewed and conducted a meta-analysis of dozens of studies and found that natural sounds can have wide-ranging positive effects.
Listening to natural soundscapes can increase your feelings of tranquillity while decreasing your feelings of annoyance, reduce stress, decrease your heart rate, improve mood cognitive functions and even reduce pain.
She said that even listening to recorded nature sounds were shown to have benefits, as does listening to nature sounds in urban parks where sounds of traffic are also present.
Sounds of water, like waves lapping on a shoreline, or running water in a river or waterfalls, have the biggest impact on our health and positive feelings. Bird sounds had the greatest effect on alleviating stress.
If you find yourself out and about, it might be wise to heed the research and take a moment to immerse yourself in whatever natural sounds are within earshot.
Produced and written by Sonya Buyting