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The Covid-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on people’s lives. After it entered our lives almost two years ago, we are all still grappling with the physical, emotional, and mental challenges that came along. However, if you go back to 2020 when the government announced the first lockdown following Covid-19, do you remember being able to hear the sounds of nature? Sounds of animals, running water, the rustling of the leaves, and the chirping of the birds? Well, even though there was a sense of anxiety and tension of Covid-19 among people, it was because of these nature sounds, that people also felt a sense of calm.Now a new research also has established a connection between nature sounds and better mental health.
According to research published by the collaboration between the BBC Natural History Unit, BBC Radio 4, Exeter University, Bristol University, and the Open University, “nature sounds benefit mental health.“
The University of Exeter’s leading researcher, Alex Smalley, said “Lockdown helped people rediscover the natural sounds around them. Our findings suggest that protecting these experiences could be beneficial for both mental health and conservation behaviour, but they also provide a stark warning that, when it comes to nature, memories matter.”
He adds, “Therapeutic effects were reported from listening to landscape sounds such as breaking waves or falling rain.”
Kamna Chibber, Head of Department, Mental Health & Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, spoke to HealthShots about how nature sounds can benefit one’s mental health.
“Nature has a strong positive effect on an individual’s mental health and well-being. It’s not just about the proximity of nature, it’s also about the quality of the kind of natural environment and for any individual when they’re able to spend time outdoors in the midst of nature, listening to the sounds of nature, whether it is about the rustling of the tree leaves, birds chirping or animal sounds, it tends to help individuals in terms of their state of well-being. It is known that this leads to feelings of happiness and joy when you’re in the midst of nature, especially for people who do enjoy being outdoors and like to be in that space,” said Kamna Chibber.
She added, “One of the things that end up happening is when you look at connecting with nature, it allows you to be able to disconnect from your day-to-day life from everything that is going on around you otherwise.”
Most of us tend to be very involved in our work and in our personal life. Therefore, we don’t necessarily get that kind of a mental break to be able to disengage from roles and responsibilities.
So when you are outdoor, when you’re listening to sounds of nature, when you are not on your phones or on your gadgets, when you’re not constantly being surrounded by people who are asking you or who you require to take care of, nature sounds allow you to be able to disengage, disconnect, fully rejuvenate and to be able to immerse yourself in being able to take care of your own self and restore your levels of energy.
And as a result, it is something that tends to be very powerful and impactful on your state of mental health and on your state of well-being.