As part of our ongoing efforts to support caregivers during this very challenging time, we are providing periodic updates on evidence-based approaches for improving self-care and wellbeing. Today’s approach is called “sound bathing.”
Benefits of Sound Bathing
Soothing music and nature sounds, even in brief interludes, offer many psychological benefits. Obviously, these sounds need to be of your own choosing, reflecting your preferences. You already know, through experience, what kinds of music and natural sounds create positive states of mind for you. Immersion in these auditory inputs provides, among others, the following benefits:
- A generalized relaxation response in the brain and body
- Increased awareness of the present moment (mindfulness)
- Diminished negative self-talk and worrying
- Renewed hope and energy
Best Practices for Sound Bathing
Sound bathing can be done anytime one has a few minutes to spare, but often proves most effective before starting one’s busy day, during breaks on the job and in the evening after work. Some find it helpful in transitioning to sleep as well. Many of us have devices that can play music and nature sounds, often through earbuds.
In addition to music on your device, there are numerous Apps that provide soothing nature sounds. Here are a few to explore:
- Relief (Soundscape)
- Nature Melody
- BrainWave (binaural sound)
In addition to providing relaxation and mindfulness, music can also energize. You know what kinds of music give you an energy lift, so use these tunes as a “pick me up” when feeling tired and sluggish.
Sound has a rapid and positive influence on mood and cognition. Consider using it as part of your self-care regimen.