A little bit of exposure to the sounds of nature can help maintain people’s mental health, a new study has revealed. For this study, data was collected from more than 7,500 people as part of the BBC series Forest 404. The BBC series Forest 404 is a podcast that depicts a world without nature. The study found that participants reported relief from stress and mental fatigue with the sound of birds.
Lead researcher Alex Smalley, from the University of Exeter, says, “The lockdown helped people rediscover the natural sounds around them. Our findings suggest that experiencing these experiences can be beneficial for both mental health and conservation behaviour.” Alex Smalley adds, “If we hope to harness the health benefits of nature in the future, we need to ensure that everyone today has access to opportunities to foster positive experiences with the natural world.” He also said that therapeutic effects were reported from listening to landscape sounds like waves or rain.
Kamna Chibber, Head of Department, Mental Health & Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, spoke to HealthShots on how nature sounds help with mental health. According to her, nature has a significant positive impact on people’s mental health and well-being. It’s not just about being close to nature; it’s also about the quality of the natural environment, and for anyone who can spend time outdoors amid nature, listening to the sounds of nature, whether it’s the rustling of tree leaves, birds chirping, or animal sounds, it tends to improve their state of well-being.
When you’re in the middle of nature, it’s well known that this causes feelings of happiness and joy, especially for people who prefer being outside and in that environment.