Want to improve your mental health? pay attention to birds
Two studies published last year in Scientific Reports say that seeing or hearing birds can have a positive effect on our mental health.
Research consistently shows that more exposure and interaction with nature is associated with better physical and brain health.
Birds seem to be the only source of these therapeutic benefits. It is almost everywhere and is a way to connect us with nature. and even if they hide in the trees or in the bushes We can still enjoy their songs.
Emil Stobbe, a graduate student in environmental neuroscience, said: “What’s special about the birdsong is that Although people live in an urban environment and do not have much contact with nature. “But they do link bird songbirds to an important and fertile natural environment,” said at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and one of the authors of the study.
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Recent research also suggests that listening to their music, even through headphones, can alleviate negative emotions.
Daily exposure to these birds was associated with improved mental health.
in one study The researchers asked about 1,300 participants to collect data about their environment and well-being three times a day using a smartphone app called Urban Mind.
Participants did not explicitly say that the researchers were looking at the birds. The app also collects information about other important factors such as sleep quality. Subjective assessment of air quality and location details But the 26,856 assessments presented a complete set of data on what is relevant to mental health in real-world real-time.
from data analysis The researchers found a significant positive association between seeing or hearing birds and improving mental health. Although it describes other possible explanations such as education, occupation, or greenery and water. which are related with good mental health
The benefits persist beyond the bird encounter. If participants reported seeing or hearing birds over time Their mental health improved on average over the next hour. Even if they didn’t find the bird at the next check-in.
Ryan Hammoud, PhD candidate at the Institute of Psychiatry in Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London and author of the study. call this “The link that lasts forever”
Surprisingly, the birds benefited both healthy participants and those diagnosed with depression. It is one of the most common mental illnesses worldwide. and does not always respond to conventional drug therapy
This has interesting implications for trying to protect and preserve the environment to preserve bird life, Hammoud said, “because people with depression show positive effects on songbirds and bird life in the area.”
A second study found that listening to short, six-minute clips of birdsong can reduce feelings of anxiety, depression, and paranoia in healthy participants.
“Listening to birdsong through headphones can lead to similar pathways that may benefit mental well-being,” said Hammoud, who was not involved in the second study. “That’s a very good discovery.”