Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Any newcomers to my Blog, may not know that I am an avid birder.  For about 8 years I also had a 4-H birding group that always cleaned up at our county fair with their research projects.

News of a new study (why does it take modern people so long to figure things out?) shows that natural sounds can help relieve stress.

We all know that  some noises, like TV, the radio, traffic, and even loud  conversations (ever tried to read in an airport when people are yaking on their cell phone?) make it hard to concentrate.  The songs of birds may make it easier. One expert thinks that birdsong relaxes people physically while stimulating them cognitively.  As the body relaxes while the mind becomes alert.

In a children’s hospital in Liverpool, England, the  sounds of birdsong carry along the hallways. It’s a recording of the dawn chorus from a nearby park, and the intent is to calm the anxious young patients. This hospital is one of a number of places in Europe where birdsong recordings are used to foster an uplifting and therapeutic experience.

Institutions have begun to put this logic to work. A primary school in Liverpool played a soundscape of birdsong and other nature sounds after a lunch break, when students would normally be drowsy. This appeared to help them concentrate and become more alert. And birdsong is now used at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, where a lounge plays bird sounds to help travelers relax before flights.

Researchers at the University of Exeter, the British Trust for Ornithology and the University of Queensland suggests that lower levels of depressionanxiety and stress were associated with the number of birds people could see in the afternoon. It discovered the benefits for mental health of being who were able to see birds, shrubs and trees around the home, whether people lived in urban or more leafy suburban neighborhoods.

According to the study, visual observation of nature is helpful in lowering the stress and anxiety for human beings. Daniel Cox, University of Exeter said, "This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental well-being. Birds around the home and nature in general, show great promise in preventative health care, making cities healthier, happier places to live."

Research conducted by Cox found that watching birds makes people feel relaxed and connected to nature which played a vital role in lowering down stress and anxiety levels in a person.

Therefore, not merely physical health benefits but nature in every form benefits our over-all health. Fresh oxygen, challenging treks, beautiful scenery, melodious nature sounds, etc., all contribute to your health if observed keenly. 

Experts (not birders obviously)  say if you’re feeling stressed out, try playing a bit of birdsong.  Any birder can tell you,  listen to the real thing.

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