Close your eyes and just listen to what’s around you. Rain on a rooftop, birds chirping out a window, waves crashing against the shore … sometimes just simple sounds can work wonders to chill you out. This month, we take a look at some unique ways to get harmonious vibes into your life.
Admittedly, these videos are a little weird: A young woman, typically, whispering into a microphone and creating some sort of soft sound, like a paintbrush gliding across canvas or the turning of pages in a magazine. It’s enough to trigger that tingling sensation on the back of your neck. It’s called the autonomous sensory meridian response, and it’s inspired a whole network of ASMR vids on YouTube. Scientific evidence is still slim on this relatively new trend, but a study at the University of Sheffield found that people who watched these videos had stress-reducing effects similar to a session of mindful meditation.
A few years ago, a UK band called Marconi Union set out to make the most relaxing song ever. And they may have succeeded. They consulted with the British Academy of Sound Therapy to produce the eight-minute track “Weightless.” It’s a layering of harmonic synth sounds designed to lower the listener’s heart rate. An independent study by Mindlab International found that it reduced its participants’ anxiety by 65%, much more so than other songs. It’s so relaxing that the author of the study only half-jokingly advised against listening to the song while driving.
Relax how Buddhist monks relax. For centuries, Tibetan singing bowls have been used in meditation practices. The practitioner will rub a mallet along the edge of the bowl to produce a pleasant ringing sound. But you don’t have to travel halfway across the globe to experience these sounds; Tibetan bowl meditation and other forms of sound healing can be found in Southwest Florida at places including Fusion Yoga & Wellness in Estero, fusionyogawellness.com. Or, you can buy one yourself online at DharmaShop, which makes custom bowls starting at $65, dharmashop.com.
Photo Credit: Getty