Sounds of nature can reduce stress levels

Did you know that what you listen to can have a positive impact on your mood and stress levels?

Japanese researchers discovered that listening to sounds from nature can improve our mental health. Participants in their study had to listen to 4 recorded sounds—ocean waves, birds by a stream, thunderstorms, and bird songs—for 10 minutes per song. They also were exposed to 5 minutes of silence. The nature sounds had a positive mental effect on study participants.

Swedish researchers found something similar when they put 40 university students in 4 stressful arithmetic tests. They measured stress recovery of each participant following each test. One group of participants were exposed to nature sounds (water and birdsongs), and the other was exposed to traffic noises and ambient background sound. Unsurprisingly, stress recovery was much faster among those exposed to the much more pleasing song birds.

So, if you find yourself stressed out, perhaps open a window or go for a walk, so you can listen to the beautiful, pleasing songs of the birds in your area. If you live near a river or stream, consider making a visit to its bank to listen to the sound of it bubbling. Or consider a website like that allows you to listen to sounds of nature from your office or home.

Are there other sounds that you find pleasant and uplifting? Let us know in the comments below.