Let’s face it; many of us are always looking for a way to deal with the worries that come with everyday life. It turns out that listening to the sounds of national parks could be all you need to reduce stress. Yes, it’s that simple.
What we know so far
There have been plenty of studies when it comes to how us humans deal with stress and how we can manage it better than ever before. Researchers working at Michigan State University, Colorado State University, and Carleton University wanted to team up with the National Park Service to look at a previous study into the noise of nature-made noise, such as recordings from national parks. Here, they learned that people usually love to listen to water because we need water to survive, therefore helping people feel calm. Soundtracks with birds also have the most significant effect when it comes to lowering annoyance and stress. The catch? No one is really sure why these noises make such an impression on our brain or how they help us to feel calm.
Creating a study
The researchers took recordings from 221 sites that were taken at 68 national parks to see how nature sounds affected our everyday lives. One of the first things the researchers noticed was how 75% of the tracks had biological sounds, meaning birds tweeting or other animals making noise at some point in the track. Almost 41% had geophysical noises, such as wind, water, or another natural element. However, it’s not just natural sounds that fill these tracks. It turns out that human-made noises, such as honking car horns and talking, were also heard in a large portion of the recordings. In the end, the researchers found that around 11%, equal to 25 sites, had louder human-made noises than natural sounds. Most of these national parks were found in the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, and Alaska.
Incorporating the sounds of national parks
The findings and various studies seem to show that listening to the sounds of national parks could be all you need to reduce stress, but there’s a catch. Perhaps you’ve found yourself wondering why you should listen to them online when you could experience them for yourselves? While there are plenty of health benefits to getting out and about in Mother Nature, the more people at each national park means there will be even less natural noise and even more human-made noise instead. It could be time to think about bird-watching, a soundwalk, or any other activity that focuses on listening to nature rather than making noise to get the full benefit of listening to the sounds of national parks.
It turns out there are plenty of benefits that come with listening to the sounds of national parks, including the fact that many of the noises are shown to reduce our stress. However, it might be time to think about how we listen to the sounds to ensure that everyone else can enjoy the same benefits, too. A quiet walk in nature, anyone?