Nature sounds, such as the sound of birds singing or a stream flowing, are generally considered more pleasant than city sounds because they are associated with peacefulness, tranquility, and serenity. These sounds evoke feelings of calm and relaxation, and can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
In contrast, city sounds, such as traffic noise and construction noise, are often associated with chaos and disorder. They can be loud, constant, and disruptive, and can make it difficult to concentrate or relax. They can also contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety.
Additionally, nature sounds have been found to have therapeutic benefits. For example, the sound of birds singing or a stream flowing can stimulate the release of endorphins in the brain, which are chemicals that promote feelings of pleasure and well-being. Research has also shown that exposure to nature sounds can improve cognitive function, reduce blood pressure and heart rate, and even enhance the immune system.
A look at construction sounds
Construction noise can be a nuisance for many people, disrupting our daily lives and causing a range of negative effects on our physical and mental health. From the constant drilling and hammering to the loud machinery and beeping of trucks reversing, construction noise can be overwhelming and disruptive.
One of the major negative effects of construction noise is on our sleep. The constant noise can make it difficult for people to fall asleep and stay asleep, leading to fatigue and a range of health problems. Studies have also shown that prolonged exposure to construction noise can lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety, which can have a significant impact on our mental health.
Another negative impact of construction noise is on our cognitive function. The constant noise can make it difficult to concentrate and can negatively impact our ability to learn and remember information. This can be particularly problematic for students who are trying to study or for workers who are trying to focus on their tasks.
In addition to the negative effects on our physical and mental health, construction noise can also have an impact on our overall quality of life. The constant noise can make it difficult to enjoy our homes and neighborhoods, and can lead to a sense of isolation and disconnection from our communities.
How does this relate to my research in nature soundscapes?
With anecdotal evidence from my own sound walks and field recordings, I have come to find that nature sounds are what help alleviate symptoms from anxiety. Particularly, nature sounds are helpful with promoting relaxation and calming the mind. When I am placed in a construction zone during my walks, I fixate on the loud, jarring sounds, and I feel my anxiety gear up. Often this results in a tenseness in my body, offering no sense of relaxation.
I believe it is important to experience the sound contrasts of nature vs construction zones to better understand the methods behind my research, as well as my final nature soundscape videos. Often, I have to cut out human interaction from my nature field recordings, whether it is construction, chatter, trains, cars, I make the choice to take these elements out and focus on the nature sounds instead. In my opinion, nature sounds are more pleasant than city sounds because they are associated with peacefulness, tranquility and serenity, they evoke feelings of calm and relaxation, have therapeutic benefits and remind us of our deep connection with nature.