Everybody has the sounds they love and the ones they don’t enjoy. A favorite song, the natural sounds of nature, and soothing music can all capture a person and take them to a better place mentally. On the other hand, a neighbor’s loud music coming through the wall, horns honking beyond the window, and the buzz of the dishwasher in the background all make you want to climb the walls.
You know the sounds you like and the sounds you don’t,but are you aware that they may affect your health?
About a year and a half ago I saw some footage on television that has stuck with me. The video featured a man in a nursing home. He typically spent his days sitting immobile with a blank stare on his face, offering little expression. One day, the nursing home staff decided to see how the man would react to music. When he put on headphones and listened to some of his old favorite songs, the man became nearly unrecognizable. His face and eyes lit up, he was shaking around, and he was displaying genuine enjoyment over the sounds he was hearing. To say his spirits were lifted would be the understatement of the century. The sounds you hear really do affect you.
Noise pollution, the unwanted sounds you hear every day, is proven to add stress and anxiety to your life. But it’s also becoming clearer that the sounds you enjoy have the opposite effect. They can ease your mind, calm your nerves, and relieve stress and anxiety.
If there’s one thing almost guaranteed to increase your stress and anxiety it’s surgery. Even small procedures like cataract surgery or getting a filling at the dentist can set many people off.
Recent research out of Chiang Mai University in Thailand, however, shows the calming effects of sound on surgical patients.
Before, during, and after cataract surgery, patients listened to binaural beats and soothing soundscapes to calm nerves and ease stress and anxiety. Cataract surgery is typically performed while patients are awake, requiring only local anesthetic. Patients responded well to the sounds by showing reduced heart rates and reporting little stress or anxiety. The sounds were a calm distraction from what was going on around them, acting as a source of escape.
Binaural beats and ocean and forest sounds were selected because they evoke familiar calming experiences to patients. Most people have good memories, like sitting on a tropical beach or being at a quiet cottage, when they hear these sounds. Binaural beats are two tones with slightly different pitches that are played through headphones. One pitch comes out from one headphone, while the other pitch comes out of the opposite side. Beats of this nature are proven to stimulate alpha-frequency brain waves linked to relaxation while reducing the perception of fear and pain.
The sounds you hear every day can play a role in determining your mood, so try and experiment on your own to see if listening to familiar sounds helps you to relax. Blocking out the noise pollution and listening to calming sounds may be all you need to do to take the edge off!
Source for Story:
Doctors Health Press [firstname.lastname@example.org]