So what is it about relaxing sounds? Let’s take a peaceful moment, get comfortable, and see for ourselves.
The times have never been more stressful – countless economic and social challenges are making more and more people stressed out, they worry about getting kicked out of their jobs, they worry that they might default on their car payments, they are stressed about their credit card debt and their ailing credit scores, they worry about health insurance and student loans and the list goes on.
According to Gallup, about 8 in 10 Americans say they frequently encounter stress in their daily lives. No day goes by without them being stressed out.
And like it or not, stress negatively impacts our health. We are hardly able to relax, we find it difficult, if not impossible, to focus at work. We get irritable and moody, our blood pressure goes up, and our sleep patterns get messed up.
Well, what’s the way forward? Experts have proffered numerous solutions to this problem. Solutions with varying degrees of complexities, but there’s one that’s uncomplicated, ubiquitous and free or almost free, and that is — listening to relaxing sounds.
These are sounds that, just by listening to them, your brain switches into relaxation mode and your body follows suit in no time.
Here are 5 such sounds:
Well, this one seems like a no-brainer. One of the best ways to relax and focus is to be in an environment where there’s some measure of peace and quiet. You wouldn’t go to a rock concert seeking to relax or focus, or would you?
In fact, if you’ve ever lived close to a busy airport such as the one in Dubai, Atlanta or Chicago, you would have a better appreciation for the adage that says “silence is golden”.
People who live close to airports often complain of noise-induced sleep deprivation, and this causes them to wake up tired and irritable most mornings, if that goes on for an extended period of time, it might even lead to cardiovascular diseases. The noise comes majorly from aircraft taking off and landing.
According to a CNN report, every single day, an average of 120 airplanes are flying in and out of Atlanta airport every hour. That’s 2 planes every minute! Imagine having to endure that every night for the next 5 years and you’ll begin to realize how golden silence is.
If you need more silence in your workplace, especially during conferencing and remote team meetings, you can use noise cancelling headphones and noise cancelling apps.
We have a special app designed just for this called Krisp – it will remove all the background noise both on your side and other call participants’ side. Try it and enjoy your new relaxing workplace atmosphere.
2. White noise
First of all, white noise has absolutely nothing to do with the color white. Having said that, what then is white noise, and why should you care?
A number of people describe white noise as a continuous “sh” sound, the kind of sound you might hear at a waterfall. Could this be considered as one of the relaxing sounds? It depends on your perception, so why not give it a try yourself.
White noise is a mixture of all the sound frequencies that are audible to the human ear, and it turns out that this noise has a lot of beneficial effects on humans.
For starters, research in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood has reported that babies fall asleep faster on exposure to white noise. People suffering from Tinnitus (a disease where people have a ringing sensation in their ears) — have also been shown to benefit from white noise.
3. Ocean sounds
Ever had time to listen to the sound of the waves at the beach? The gentle, soothing sound that the waves make when they splash onto the sand and rock.
A lot of people go to the beach just to listen to that sound because, according to them, it helps them to relax, clear their heads and meditate. Meditation sure does a lot of good – it helps us reduce stress, control anxiety and promote our emotional health.
So if you feel there’s a build-up of stress in your system, a trip to the beach might just be all the help you’ll need and have all the relaxing sounds you look for.
4. Pink noise
“What’s with noise and colors?” You might wonder “Are they a match made in heaven?” Well, it turns out pink noise is anything but pink (noises are colorless).
Pink noise is a lot like white noise, the only difference being that pink noise switches ever so subtly between high and low frequencies, mimicking the sounds of nature.
Pink noise has been shown to lull people to sleep and even help in forming stronger memories (by establishing more powerful neuronal connections in our brains).
So there you have it, you really can’t tell whether or not pink noise will work for you unless you try it. You don’t need any sophisticated gadgets to produce pink noise. If you sleep with the fan on in your room, you’re probably already enjoying pink noise, albeit a bit adulterated form of it.
Want to take things a notch higher, download an app that generates the noise, or better still, there are online tools that produce a wide range of noises that you can choose from.
It’s a long, arduous day at work, but thankfully you made it back home in one piece the long, tortuous commute, the nosy co-worker who kept getting on your nerves, your annoying boss who micromanages every single task assigned to you and every other thing in between, long story short you arrive home stressed and longing for a relaxing evening.
The sound of raindrops might just help to refresh you and improve your mood and just like the sound of ocean waves crashing against rock and sand, many people confess that the gentle sound of raindrops make it somewhat easier for them to relax and to fall asleep.
And if you don’t get rain when you need it, you can use online tools to generate pre-recorded raindrops sound that you can listen to instead.
Over to you
What sounds have you tried before and found to be strangely relaxing? Does silence unnerve you? Do you feel weird on the morning just after it snows, when everything is strangely quiet and calm? How about when walking in the woods on a fall morning with birds tooting and dead leaves crackling under your feet?
We’d love to hear from you, so share your thoughts on Twitter and tag us!
Next section: Conferencing at Home: The Do’s and Don’ts