Recent Study Shows That Natural Soundscapes Significantly Help With Anxiety And Paranoia

Some of you might feel a little off during the colder seasons, maybe even a little anxious.

If you’re positive that it’s not just because of the usual holiday stress, then this might be one of the reasons you’re experiencing some anxiety and/or paranoia.

PHOTO: Unsplash/boram kim

A study published in the Scientific Reports journal investigated the effect of urban noises and natural soundscapes on a person’s mood, paranoia, and cognitive performance.

Researchers found out that birdsongs significantly improve all three conditions stated above, while traffic noises are related to an increase in depression.

The study used data from 295 participants. All were exposed to one out of four conditions: low traffic noise, high traffic noise, low-diversity birdsong, and high-diversity birdsong soundscapes, for 6 minutes. The participants were made to fill out depression, anxiety, and paranoia questionnaires before and after the experiment.

PHOTO: Pixabay/StockSnap

“Everyone has certain psychological dispositions. Healthy people can also experience anxious thoughts or temporary paranoid perceptions. The questionnaires enable us to identify people’s tendencies without their having a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, and paranoia and to investigate the effect of the sounds of birds or traffic on these tendencies,” explained Stobbe, author of the study.

It turns out that traffic noise soundscapes can lead to a significant increase in depression, but only a little increase in anxiety and paranoia, in both low and high conditions. While those that were exposed to birdsong soundscapes ended up with a significant decrease in anxiety, paranoia, and depression. All soundscapes didn’t significantly affect any of the participant’s cognitive abilities.

PHOTO: Unsplash/Tom Bradley

So with this study in mind, in addition to more people going out and about during the holiday rush and the lack of birds singing in the background, our stress and anxiety just add up.

“Birdsong could also be applied to prevent mental disorders. Listening to an audio CD would be a simple, easily accessible intervention. But if we could already show such effects in an online experiment performed by participants on a computer, we can assume that these are even stronger outdoors in nature,” said Stobbe.

If you’re feeling kind of low and in need of some relaxing ambient music, maybe this article would be of interest to you!

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