Anxiety can ruin both our mental and physical health, as persistent worry can cause everything from muscle tension to high blood pressure.
If you are plagued with anxious thoughts, from wondering if liability-only insurance is a good idea for your car to wondering why the job you interviewed for never called you back, noise machines with nature sounds can help soothe you.
How will nature sounds help my anxiety?
Before we get started on relaxation techniques to use with your noise machine, let’s first explain why nature noises are a good idea. A research study from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that exposing people to nature sounds after stressful situations helped them calm down faster.
The study explains that most people find nature sounds, such as a babbling brook or the sound of rain, to be relaxing. This helps decrease high heart rates and other symptoms of anxiety. In comparison, sounds like traffic and noisy crowds are shown to raise most people’s anxiety.
So if you live in a city and find yourself on edge, incorporating nature sounds can help combat the tension you feel from your surroundings.
How can I use nature sounds effectively?
Now that we’ve covered the why of nature sounds, it’s time to dive into the main ways to effectively use a noise machine to reduce anxiety. One of the first things you can do is simply lay down in a comfortable spot and close your eyes as you listen to your favorite nature sound.
While you are listening, use deep breathing techniques to help you relax. Make sure that you are taking deep breaths that fill up your lungs fully — you should feel your belly rise and fall.
If you feel up to it, you can also try a visualization technique while deep breathing to help combat the anxiety you are feeling. For example, if the beach is a place you feel most relaxed at, play wave sounds on your noise machine and imagine you are at a beach.
Envisioning the smell, sounds, and feel of the beach will help take your mind off of your anxious thoughts.
Another tip is to combine nature sounds with a relaxing essential oil. If you are trying to fall asleep, using lavender oil can have a calming effect. You could also burn a wood-scented candle when listening to forest sounds or a coconut-scented candle while listening to beach waves.
Combining scent and sound can help you create positive associations with your noise relaxation technique and make it more effective over time.
Should I use a nature sound machine at night?
Stress and anxiety not only keep you on edge during the day, but they make it difficult to fall asleep at night. Whoever said sleep is overrated has clearly never experienced being kept up by anxious thoughts all night. Luckily, playing nature sounds on a noise machine can help you relax at night and get the rest you deserve.
So if you find that anxiety is starting to creep into your life, make listening to nature sounds a daily part of your routine. Whether it’s taking five or ten minutes during the day to meditate with your noise machine or falling asleep to the sound of waves, nature sounds can help improve your overall well being.
Rachel Bodine is a content writer for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsuranceCompanies.org.