Sounds fill the world around us. Even in what appears to be complete silence, most people can hear something if they try hard enough. Throughout time, people have realized that certain sounds can have an impact on a person’s health and well-being. Loud sounds can be a hindrance when it comes to resting and relaxing, but some sounds help in that regard. Why do certain sounds help us to relax? It comes down to how the body processes certain noise.
Associating Noise with Comfort
No two people are completely alike, and what might be calming for one person is impossible to deal with for another. One easy example to use is the loud sounds of a train passing by. Those who grew up near tracks might associate that sound with a comfortable time in their lives. They became so used to sleeping with sound around them that it is now calming.
Another person can move to a new place in their adult life and not get any rest or sleep with any train sounds. Our brain conditions itself based on sounds it hears throughout life. It’s unpredictable at times what relaxes certain people and adds to anxiety for others. Scientists believe that humans are predisposed to relax around certain sounds depending on the type of sleep or an individual is.
The Effects of White Noise
A much more common relaxing sound is any type of white noise. Rain falling and trees swaying in the wind are just a couple of examples when it comes to white noise. It doesn’t affect the brain that much since it does not steal any focus from a task someone is trying to accomplish.
It adds just enough sound to relax the body without causing a distraction. This is why so many people use a white noise generator when sleeping if they do not have adequate sounds naturally around them. It’s something worth checking out if sleep or relaxation is an issue. Having just a faint amount of sound around can relax the body, while still allowing the brain to think freely without any distractions.
Structured, Developed Sounds
In the modern world, many people relax by listening to something that brings them joy and happiness. This structured type of sound can come from a television show, music or podcast, to name a few. This requires active listening, but it is something people enjoy for the most part. No one is going to listen to music that they do not like if they are trying to relax.
Some people are still productive doing other things while listening to structured sounds, but it is not quite as passive as white noise or other noises people find comfort in. The brain is processing spoken words, and it can start to feel overwhelmed if trying to accomplish other activities.
Finding What Works
Relaxing sounds help reduce stress, encourage proper rest, and just help a person live their best life. Sitting or lying down in complete silence doesn’t work for most. Sample a few different types of sounds to see what works best. After using these sounds for a while, the difference will be noticeable.