It’s a noisy world; isn’t it? Especially if you live or work in an urban environment, it’s quite possible to be surrounded by constant noise. Then again, even some rural environments are noisy at times. Is there a farm near you where heavy machinery is often used? Those tractors can be really loud! In a world of advanced technology and ’round-the-clock commerce, the cacophony of noise pollution never ends. Most people don’t realize the negative toll that noisiness has on their mental, emotional and, perhaps, even physical health. This post is going to focus on “sounds” as opposed to “noise.” In fact, I believe that there are three specific sounds that can boost quality of life.
I remember when I was a young wife and mother in my twenties. My dad and I used to have a running, friendly debate about “silence.” He considered it “golden,” whereas I would describe it as “deafening.” My father would always end our little chat by saying, “There will come a time in your life when you will change your mind about that.” Guess what? He was right! Silence is a blessing. It can provide respite from a busy world and peace of mind. There are three sounds, however, that can also make your world a nicer place to be.
Boost quality of life by listening to a trickling stream
Even the words “trickling stream” or “babbling brook” are poetic; aren’t they? Listening to water as it gently flows through a creek evokes calmness and peacefulness. We have a small creek on our property where my children and I would often spend our days when they were young. I would always tell them that they were listening to “God’s music,” as they quietly sat by the water. They would splash around or search for crayfish. We’d often take a blanket, a picnic lunch and our school books to our creek and spend the whole day there, learning, playing and resting. The sound of the water bubbling over rocks and sticks is one of my favorite sounds in the world.
If your mind is feeling cluttered and you’re tired of noisiness, try to find a small stream somewhere. Spend some time sitting by it and listening to the water. If there are no creeks or streams where you live, you might consider using a streaming device to listen to the sounds of a babbling brook. You can even “tell Alexa” to play this sound for you while you work, if you work from home.
The sound of birdsong can also boost quality of life
If a trickling stream is “God’s music,” then birds are His vocalists. Granted, you might not want to listen to a group of magpies or crows as they incessantly caw and screech. Birdsong of a more gentle nature, however, is truly “music to the ears.” There’s something so relaxing about sitting outdoors, in an otherwise quiet place, while listening to the birds chirping all around you. One of my favorite ways to get more of this sound is to take my morning coffee to my garden, just before sunrise. I quietly sit and sip and pray and wait. Soon enough, the sun begins to greet me from the horizon, and the birds begin to sing their morning song.
Life feels better when there’s more birdsong in it. It’s fun to try to attribute human language to the sounds the birds make. There happens to be one in my area that sounds exactly as if it is calling my name! My kids and I have always called this bird a “Judy bird” because it calls, “JU-DEE, JU-DEE,” when it sings.
Birdsong and other natural sounds nurture mental health
Research shows that listening to birdsong promotes mental health and relaxation. An environmental psychologist from the United Kingdom says that people often hear a particular bird and become reminiscent of happy times in their childhoods. This is because the brain subconsciously remembers a specific event when a particular bird was singing. When a person hears that same bird later in life, it evokes feelings of gladness.
Who doesn’t love to hear baby giggles?
The third sound, which I firmly believe can help improve quality of life, is “baby laughter.” When is the last time you heard it, though? We’ve become so busy and always on the go as a society, that innocent moments like listening to a baby giggle are few and far between. The sound of a baby’s laughter is so pure and so joyful. It’s natural, spontaneous and untainted. I challenge you to listen to a baby giggle without feeling compelled to smile.
Science has proven, time and again, that smiling and laughing is good for our health. Better health enables us to improve quality of life. Therefore, it’s logical to assume that allowing ourselves to hear more sounds that make us smile or laugh helps us to improve our health and have a better quality of life. I believe that getting more of these three sounds: a babbling brook, birdsong and baby giggles, will enhance your joy and increase your positive sense of well-being. What sounds would you add to the list to help boost quality of life?