Sounds: They’re great for reducing stress. Here’s how.
Senses: they’re how we perceive and interact with the world. While you might not initially think that they’re linked to increases (and decreases!) in our moods, the truth is they’re closely intertwined.
Today, we wanted to take the time to look at this subject in a little more detail. We live in an increasingly stressful, fast-moving world on average, and anything we can all do to reduce our cortisol levels is going to be a win for our health.
Let’s see what this subject is all about, shall we?
Sounds of nature
The first sound on our list might be the most understandable and relatable: nature. We all love a good walk, and there’s a profound sense of peace and wellbeing that’s commonly felt when you take a stroll in the outdoors – particularly if you visit a forest or park.
Interestingly, noise is a stressor. Our nervous system responds to all inputs it receives (often known as the fight or flight response!) and the sounds common to nature-filled areas are the good ones as far as stress response is concerned.
Studies have found that sounds related to nature, like water flowing through streams or the wind through trees, have a directly relaxing effect on our nervous system – and our minds as a result!
Music relaxes your mind
Who would’ve thought it, right? We’ve used music as a human race to relax for thousands of years, but the science behind it is more than a little interesting.
Picture a study session or a trip to a therapeutic spa: you’ll probably conjure up an image of relaxing, ambient music in the background. Studies have shown us that such music can lower stress in those attending such places – and the same applies to patients at hospitals.
Even better, this seems to apply to all age groups! Children appear to work and communicate better when there is ambient music playing, and even physical pain is reduced in the elderly when in an area suffused with calming tracks.
Silence works too
In a fascinating finish to today’s article, we’ll talk about the total opposite to music and sounds: silence!
We’ve established that noise is considered a ‘stressor’; it triggers our fight or flight response and can, depending on the type of noise, lower or increase stress.
For many of us, our offices or places of work can have a high level of background noise that can produce a negative response in our bodies. It’s increasingly common for employee wellbeing initiatives to allow headphones at work, or to pump ambient and relaxing music through offices and warehouses in a bid to improve the wellbeing of the staff within.
The stress of the day stays with us. Studies show that if we have a lot of stress during the day we still carry it with us through the evening – hardly an ideal situation, we can all agree!
To counteract this, consider fitting some meditation time into your day – 10 minutes is more than enough to start with and will have a profound impact on your stress levels and overall wellbeing. If your workplace allows it (and there’s a lot of noise you’d rather avoid), consider using earplugs to help you focus and reduce background stress-inducing noises.
An intriguing subject! We’re all on a health kick in 2019, and any way we can improve our lives and our bodies is a worthy subject to talk about.
We hope you’ve found today’s blog from the Citrus team helpful and informative. It’s what we’re here for – helping you.