Research Series – Part 5 – Soothing Sounds of Nature for Workplace Wellness!

Soothing Sounds of Nature for Workplace WellnessStress is our body’s reaction to psychological pressure that builds up over a period of time. When we are stressed we often feel overwhelmed, insecure or nervous. There is no one reason for stress and what is stressful for one person is not necessarily stressful for another and vice versa. Although the causes for stress are different for each individual, some symptoms are common. These can include sweaty hands, low self-esteem, anxiety and an increased heart rate. If stress is experienced over extended periods of time it can also lead to fatigue, insomnia, indigestion, diarrhoea, loss of concentration and a large variety of more serious conditions like depression, panic attacks, exhaustion (e.g. burn out) and high or low blood pressure.

But not just the individual person suffers from the undesired effects of stress. Employers are also greatly affected. As Dr. Russ Newman, executive director for professional practice of the American Psychological Association (APA) states, “the cost of stress to employers is huge”*. According to Newman, employers spend “an estimated 300 billion dollars a year on stress-related absenteeism, turnover, lowered productivity, and direct medical, legal and insurance costs”*.

Fortunately, there are a number of treatments and therapies that heal your body and mind by reducing the unwelcomed effects of stress. Some of these treatments involve the sights and sounds of nature.

For example, a study in 1984 found that post-surgery patients who had a view onto a garden through the windows of their hospital room recovered faster from their conditions than patients who looked at a brick wall instead**.

But not just the view of nature can help after surgery, listening to the sounds of nature has very positive effects on patient recovery as well. In 2010, Alvarsson and colleagues presented 40 subjects with either nature sounds (a mixture of sounds from a fountain and tweeting birds) or noisy urban environments (road traffic noise) after a stressful mental arithmetic task***. The results of their investigations suggest that psychological stress and physiological recovery of the sympathetic nervous system is faster during exposure to pleasant nature sounds than to the un-pleasant city noises***.

Nature sounds and sights are thus an effective strategy to manage stress and it can be successfully incorporated within limited office spaces by e.g. putting up pictures of nature scenes on the office walls, creating and running a slideshow of nature images on a digital picture frame or tablet and listening to nature sounds on good quality headphones. Such cost-effective measures are of benefit to both the employer and the employee, thus it should be in the interest of both parties to reduce stress by introducing nature sounds and scenes into the work environment. Adding some plants is certain to lift your mood, too****.

Australian Nature Sounds offer individual and corporate/organisation packages that include pre-selected or customised nature sound collections to reduce employee stress.

If you are an employee, browse over to our website and find a selection of nature sound albums ready to reduce your stress symptoms right now.

If you are an employer and want to improve the working conditions in your offices or employee kitchen, talk to us about your requirement. Ask us about our flexible plans to suit your specific needs and we are happy to provide a free custom quote for the wellness of your employees.

Have a listen to our albums and see what they do for you!

References

* Bossolo L & Borde C (2007). Top companies show investing in employee health and well-being leads to business success, [Web page article] Retrieved from http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/apa/26909/ on 3 July 2012

** Ulrich, R.S. View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science 1984, 224, 420-421.

*** Alvarsson J J, Wiens S, Nilsson M E (2010). Stress Recovery during Exposure to Nature Sound and Environmental Noise. (Published 11 March 2010), Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010

**** Whall, A. L., Black, M. E., Groh, C. J., Yankou, D. J., Kupferschmid, B. J., & Foster, N. L. (1997). The effect of natural environments upon agitation and aggression in late stage dementia patients. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 12(5), 216-220

Research Series – Part 4 – Expectant Mothers and Nature Sounds

 

 Expectant Mothers and Nature Sounds

 

Pregnant women who might be busy working or those who have limited access to nature, may find that outdoor recordings of nature sounds can be the perfect choice to make up for these restrictions. For expectant mothers, it is a convenient and cost-effective measure that enables them to enjoy the benefits of listening to nature sounds, while commuting to work or sitting right at home. Considering the advantages, a number of childbirth classes encourage and use soothing music and nature sounds to soothe the pregnancy pangs **. Both help to make pregnancy and the childbirth process less stressful.

 

Listening to the relaxing sounds of nature helps to relieve stress and anxiety. Since soothing nature sounds are a remedial measure with no known side effects(!) they can be a better choice than the unnecessary consumption of over-the-counter prescription medicines, especially during pregnancy. Nature sounds soothe and help with quality sleep stimulation for expectant mothers who might find the unwelcomed effects of pregnancy a bit strenuous.

 

So why wait any longer? Browse over to our albums and indulge in tranquil ocean waves or other sounds of nature that will help you to de-stress and sleep better. A variety of choice quality recordings are available. Try the free  album long previews to see which nature sounds work for you. Click away!

 

Reference

 

* Web Article titled: Online relaxing music for pregnant women [Web article] Retrieved from http://www.onlinerelaxingmusic.net/ on 2 July 2012

 

**Web Article titled: Music for Labor and birth-Choosing music to be born to… By Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE [Web article] Retrieved from About.com Guide on 2 July 2012

Research Series – Part 3 -Nature sounds that Nurture

Nature sounds that Nurture

Nature sounds that Nurture

Nature sights and sounds are useful and effective stress management tools and for centuries, shamans and natural healers have intuitively used the therapeutic influences of nature sounds to heal. Today, nature sounds and their relevance cannot be emphasised enough as listening to nature sounds can have an immensely relaxing effect on mind and body. Sounds of calming ocean waves, cheerful birds chirping and forest rainfalls have beneficial effects on physiological functions like slowing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and reducing stress hormone levels as well as boosting the immune system. Being in nature is healing—it slows us down and gives us time and space to think (Kreitzer et al., 2010).

Nature sounds hone our attention and act as a distraction from the stresses experiences in our daily lives. Nature sounds also help us to calm down our emotions and are an effective aid for meditation. A growing number of modern practitioners are reinventing and rediscovering nature sounds and tools that are used for healing and wellness. Browse over to our website today and enjoy the natural bliss and beauty that our nature sounds provide. We have choice quality recordings that can come in handy for individuals who have limited access to the natural environment and who cannot experience the benefits of listening to relaxing nature sounds, otherwise.

Take this cost-effective opportunity to de-stress. Simply click on www.australian-nature-sounds.com and add your favourite sounds to the cart.

Kreitzer MJ. (2010). Take 5: Use Nature to Reduce Stress. [Web Page] Retrieved from http://takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/taking-charge-blog/take-5-managing-stress-turbulent-times?page=3 on 29 June 201

Research Series – Part 2 – Nature’s sounds and sights to reduce surgery pain and anxiety

Nature’s sounds and sights to reduce surgery pain and anxiety

Flexible bronchoscopy is one such medical procedure that can cause a lot of discomfort, pain, and anxiety. A teaching hospital in Baltimore has undertaken a study that successfully proved how patient-friendly nature sounds and sights can be used to help reduce and lessen pain during the bronchoscopy process in a hospital setting (Diette et al., 2003).

80 patients were selected of which 41 patients were given nature sounds to listen to before, during and after the procedure. Furthermore, nature scene murals were placed at their bedside. A second group of 39 patients was assigned to a control group and were not offered nature sounds or imagery. Diette et al. (2003) observed that this type of distraction therapy with nature sounds and sights considerably decreased pain in patients undergoing flexible bronchoscopy as compared to patients who did not receive any sounds and sights of nature.

Clinicians are realising that non-invasive nature sound and scene treatment works well when coupled with standard analgesic medication. The added advantage is that there are no known harmful side-effects. To improve our understanding of how nature sounds and imagery affect our healing, further research is required in this area.

Considering the healing potential nature’s sounds hold, the reader may be inclined to indulge the senses once in a while for recreational purposes. Australian Nature Sounds offer a range of quality, healing nature sounds and recordings. Have a look at our albums and see which benefits nature sounds have to offer to you!

Reference:

Diette, G. B., Lechtzin, N., Haponik, E., Devrotes, A., & Rubin, H. R. (2003). Distraction Therapy With Nature Sights and Sounds Reduces Pain During Flexible Bronchoscopy*. Chest, 123(3), 941-948. doi:10.1378/chest.123.3.94

Effects of

Nature Sounds and Cardiac Health

Nature Sounds on Cardiac Health

Patients who go through cardiac surgical procedures experience nervousness and sometimes uneasiness as they undergo unaccustomed surgica

l events. Cutshall et al. (2011) conducted a randomised study in hospital settings that successfully utilised combination techniqu

es of music and Nature Sound therapy to speed up the recovery process of post-operative cardiac patients. The study included 100 patients of which 49 patients were administered nature sounds and music. Results show that those patients who received the Nature Sound and music treatment registered an enhanced mean relaxation score as compared to a control group of 51 patients who did not receive any treatment.

Recordings of Nature Sounds provide an additional non-invasive means for treating symptoms of nervousness, pain, and post surgical anxiety, thus helping cardiac patients to relax and recover faster.

Get the advantage of Nature Sounds, listen to our albums and experience the joy of high quality nature sound recordings.

 

Reference

Cutshall S M, Anderson P G, Prinsen S K, Wentworth L J, Olney T L, Messner P K, Brekke K M, Zhuo Li, Thoralf M. Sundt III, Kelly R F, Bauer B A (2011). Effect of Combination of Music and Nature Sounds on Pain and Anxiety in Cardiac Surgical Patients: A Randomized Study, ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, Jul/Aug 2011, VOL. 17, NO.4 (Altern Ther Health Med. 2011;17(4):16-23.)

 

GORDON HEMPTON — THE LAST QUIET PLACES: SILENCE AND THE PRESENCE OF EVERYTHINGHave a listen to this beautiful radio program about silence, which as per Gordon Hempton’s definition is the presence of sound and the absence of noise.

 

“Silence is an endangered species, says Gordon Hempton. He defines real quiet as presence — not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise. The Earth, as he knows it, is a “solar-powered jukebox.” Quiet is a “think tank of the soul.” We take in the world through his ears.”

http://www.onbeing.org/program/last-quiet-places/4557