All the noise, noise, noise, NOISEDr. Suess
We don’t do quiet very well anymore. What’s worse is that we don’t even notice how much manmade noise is in the world around us all the time. We wonder why we can’t string a thought together and are easily distracted. It is all the noise jamming up our brains.
I really noticed this issue when I went down to the Dunedin Causeway today to walk. It’s a great way to clear the cobwebs out of my brain and get my creativity going. The problem was, I couldn’t get my zen on. There were cars going by. There were a few people sharing their high decibel bass music from vehicles. People were walking by sharing their phone conversation with everyone. What was missing was the sound of the breeze moving the palm fronds, the water lapping at the shore, the birds chattering to each other. What was missing was the quiet music of the natural world. I’m sure it was still there. I just couldn’t hear it over all the other noise.
I find that when I get out into the natural world (in a place I can actually hear it), everything just calms down. Time slows down for me. So does my heart rate and breathing. My whole nervous system goes into a rest and digest state. Then the magic happens. My brain stops jumping all over the place. I can string coherent thoughts together. Even better is that this overall effect seems to last for quite a while once I head back indoors to get things done. It is amazing what a little time with nature can do for us.
“Research has found that people who spent just two hours per week outside in a natural setting reported greater well-being compared with people who spent less time outdoors.” I already know what you’re thinking. “I don’t have two minutes in a week let alone two hours to be outside!” I get it. Sometimes, most times, I don’t either. Good news! Further studies have shown that listening to recorded natural sounds has the same benefit. Numerous natural sounds were recorded and played in lab settings in 11 different countries. The results were pretty impressive as those who were tested showed a decrease in stress, annoyance and pain. They also showed a great improvement in mood and cognitive testing.
So, when you can get out into nature, take the time for your happiness and health. Even 5 minutes sitting on a deck, park bench, or wherever you can find nature counts. When you can’t get out into nature there are all kinds of natural sound recordings that you can download to any device and just take a few minutes to listen and reset your balance. One of the apps I use is Calm.com. (I am not compensated for sharing their site). There is a free trial. Then there is a monthly subscription. However, there are plenty of other ways to download free natural sounds online. Just type free natural sounds into your device’s search engine. If you like something that will always be available to you then you can purchasing digital albums through sites like Amazon. (Again, not compensated. Just click on that highlighted Amazon you just saw and it will take you to what I found.)
I hope you get some time this week to get quiet and hear nature in some form. I like to check out new places, and so do others. So, go ahead and share your fave spot to get into nature in a comment and in the meantime, enjoy this quick little natural sound video I took: