Every day, more people are discovering the power of sound and how it can affect our mental and emotional wellness. As the two are interconnected, having a healthy mind often equates to having a healthy body, so adding ambient sounds to one of your relaxation routines can potentially be of great benefit to your overall wellbeing.
It may also be advantageous in your workday, as ambient sounds have been shown to aid in increasing productivity as well. According to the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, a recent study involving the use of natural sounds in an open-office environment demonstrated improvement in mental cognition, concentration, and overall worker satisfaction.
There are several types of ambient sounds that can be used as ways to boost productivity:
Colors of Noise
There are some specific audio signals many people use, most typically known as white noise, brown noise, and pink noise. Each one represents a slightly different ambient sound on the spectrum. It gives off a faint, consistent hum, much like an electric fan, helping to reduce distracting background noises.
Smartphone apps containing binaural beats are quickly gaining popularity among people who rely on today’s latest technology to alter the frequency of their own brainwaves. Depending on the entrainment frequency, these subtle tones can produce different effects. For example, beta frequencies (12Hz to 38Hz) are best used for creating a state of alertness to reduce feelings of tiredness or fatigue. Meanwhile, alpha frequencies (8Hz to 12Hz) are known for creating a mild state of relaxation, which can be used for light meditation and general mindfulness throughout the day.
Sometimes fooling our brains into thinking we’re enveloped in a relaxing natural environment can be a wonderful way to get that much-needed boost. Some examples could include sounds like birds chirping, water running, or the wind blowing. Some apps will even let you customize natural sounds together so you can create the optimal ambient background experience for your workspace. If customizable apps aren’t your thing, there are tons of ambient albums available for streaming or purchase, too.
There is no right or wrong way to listen to ambient sounds. Find the sounds that work best for you and stick with them. Have you ever used ambient noise to enhance your wellbeing or productivity? Tell us about your experience on Facebook!