We are constantly surrounded by so much man-made noise that we forget the symphony nature can provide for us. From the chirping of birds to the calming sound of running water, nature is its own orchestra. But often we forget with the latest technology always capturing our attention. We don’t always take a moment to sit back and enjoy the natural sounds around us. We have grown accustomed to pay attention to the ding of Snapchat notifications or an alert to “BeReal” instead of the natural sounds of the wind blowing, water running, or birds chirping. These sounds are often drowned out by the honking of cars, motors being revved, and the sounds of consumerism and technology.
At one point or another, most of us have experienced the annoyance of hearing a distracting sound that impeded our ability to do something. Maybe you live near a railroad track, where trains bustle and shake late at night, hindering your ability to sleep. Maybe you’ve known the stress of trying to concentrate on a task while construction work beeps and whirs outside. In our modern industrialized world, it is not uncommon to encounter distracting noises. Hearing disruptive sounds is related to increased stress, elevated risk for heart disease, and difficulty processing information (Schell, 2003). While we can’t always choose when we hear these nuisance noises, we can choose to reinvigorate our senses and connect with nature by listening to sounds from our natural environment. As you listen to these sounds sampled from nature, observe how they make you feel. If you find the sounds to be relaxing or pleasant, consider exposing yourself to more nature sounds, either by spending time in immersive natural environments or listening to more sampled sounds. Now, I invite you to sit back and enjoy.
Schell, L. M., & Denham, M. (2003). Environmental Pollution in Urban Environments and Human Biology. Annual Review of Anthropology, 32, 111–134. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25064823
Sampled Sounds and Nature Videos Provided by Storyblocks
At one point or another, everyone aspires to seek and experience some form of nature contact. Contact with nature can allow reconnection with yourself and to mother earth; whether physically engaged or listening to natural sounds. Nature views and sounds can also foster overall well-being by increasing relaxation, positive attitude, and productivity along with reducing stress and having calming effects. To learn more about nature benefits, check out related article included below.
In light of social distancing and as the winter months persist, options for outdoor enjoyment might be harder to find. Thinking of ways to experience nature may come to halt. But does it have to? There are many ways nature can be experienced in the comfort of your own home. One way is by bringing the outdoors inside using HIN’s “Sounds of Nature” Audio Playlist via Spotify.