Discover how nature sounds enhance your creativity, and change your physical and emotional responses to stress.
Do you ever find yourself feeling calm and peaceful when you’re in nature? Research shows that the sounds of a running stream, birds singing in the trees or simply the wind moving the leaves in a forest has a number of positive long-term effects for our body and mind.
Nature sounds can trigger a variety of chemical reactions in our brain that contribute to relaxation. Science has shown that when the body and mind are relaxed, the body’s natural ability to heal itself is greatly enhanced. This is because nature sounds trigger the relaxation response which is a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress. It is the opposite of the fight or flight response which causes a reduction in the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
Take the sounds of the ocean for example. If you have ever felt that overwhelming sense of calmness descend on you as you hear the sounds of the ocean and the waves lapping at the shore, it is not in your imagination! As humans, we could be finely tuned to zone into a meditative state when listening to any kind of water, but particularly the sea or ocean. Our brains can tune in to the frequencies of the ocean waves, and when they do, it changes the patterns of our brainwaves, inducing a deeply meditative state that can heal and rejuvenate, creating significant drops in stress hormones.
Here are 4 ways to use nature sounds to enhance well-being in your life.
- While sitting or lying still with your eyes closed, see if you can really slow down, visualize, and appreciate the intricacies of your experience, cultivating a sense of appreciation and awe. Listening carefully, attending to the intricacies of the location of each sound that you hear. By combining this with soothing breathing, you will in fact supercharge the soothing benefits of this listening, and you will be well on your way to cultivating a healthy ‘rest and digest’ (parasympathetic) response.
- Listen to the soothing sounds of water to clear away stress and the effects of negative experiences. Reset your biorhythms with the lunar energy of the tides and ocean waves. Clear your thoughts with the pulsing beats of a waterfall, or just calm and soothe weary nerves with the quiet rush of a running stream.
- Resonate with the power of Earth’s electromagnetic field through the sound of rolling thunder. Or dwell in the quietude of the forest and communicate with the trees with a guided meditation. Many studies have shown that even just a few minutes a day spent meditating with nature sounds greatly improves overall health and well-being.
- Nature sounds enhance your creativity! By opening more neural pathways for creative problem-solving and inspiration, nature sounds can improve your concentration and open your consciousness to your limitless human potential. From reducing stress to stimulating feelings of happiness, nature sounds can produce a number of positive long-term benefits for your body and mind, such as lower stress and anxiety levels, better sleep patterns, and improved overall health and well-being.
The soothing and rejuvenating sounds of nature has such a powerful ability to bring us peace in our busy lives. The pure relaxation and calmness that takes over you when listening to the sounds of nature such as leaves rustling in the wind or water flowing down a stream is not something that happens randomly.
Multiple researchers point to the fact that a scientific explanation can be formulated on why the sounds of nature have such a replenishing and restorative effect on our body and minds. And all the latest directions in studying the brain and the effect of nature sounds on it, turn to the fact that they physically modify the synapses in the brain, managing to optimize the connections between neurons as well as reducing the flight-or-flight instinct.
Take a mini-break now and give your mind a holiday from the outside world. Your body and mind will thank you for it!