While virtual soundscapes can evoke some of the feelings we have in nature, they really can’t compare to the real deal.
“There is no replacement for nature,” says Rachel Buxton, Ph.D., a soundscape researcher and assistant professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Department of Biology at Carleton University. “We need nature in so many ways—and there are so many things about nature that you’re not getting when you’re just listening to a recording.”
When we visit a waterfall up close, for example, not only will we take in its powerful sounds, but we’ll also benefit from the striking sight of the water, the refreshing feeling of the mist on our skin, and the pleasant smell of the damp earth. Even unseen entities—like the organic compounds in the trees9 and microbes in the soil10—can quietly conspire to improve our mood, immune response, and more.
Research supports the fact that in-person nature sounds are preferable to recorded ones. In one experiment out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, healthy undergraduates either sat in an outdoor forest setting or watched a 360-degree VR nature recording of the same environment for six minutes. While the VR headset improved mood11 more than sitting in an empty room, it didn’t have as positive of an impact as the outdoor exposure. Daily exposure to virtual nature12 also doesn’t seem to inhibit rumination or negative thought loops, while real nature definitely does.
For those thinking, that’s great, but I don’t live near any forests or waterfalls, smaller pockets of nature—like a public park or line of street trees—can be a solid stand-in. So, the next time you’re hoping to tune into nature sounds to increase focus or relieve stress, consider seeking them out beyond your laptop. Here are a few ways to get started:
Nguồn bài viết : https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/green-noise