Have you noticed how your body and mind respond to the sounds of birds chirping to their little hearts’ content? If you haven’t, I suggest you try one of my favorite activities: listening to the calming sounds of birdsong.
According to this Washington Post article, just listening to birds singing brings all kinds of healing benefits, including alleviating feelings of anxiety and paranoia, reducing stress and depression, and improving mental health in general.
“Birds appear to be a specific source of these healing benefits,” the article says. “They are almost everywhere and provide a way to connect us to nature. And even if they are hidden in trees or in the underbrush, we can still revel in their songs.”
Bird songs reconnect us with nature and boost our mental well-being, with benefits that last beyond the time we spend listening to their chirps and trills, the research shows.
“The benefits persisted well beyond the bird encounter. If a participant reported seeing or hearing birds at one point, their mental well-being was higher, on average, hours later even if they did not encounter birds at the next check-in.”
Even listening to recordings of birds singing can alleviate negative emotions and boost positive feelings. Their beautiful and diverse calls touch something deep and primordial in our psyche. Can you imagine? Tweets that actually lower your blood pressure! And the more you pay attention, the better you feel.
Listening to birds singing is one of my favorite activities for practicing mindfulness in daily life. I love listening to the bird symphony playing in my backyard and courtyard each day. As long is the weather is mild, I enjoy sitting in my favorite chair in my favorite spot with my morning coffee and just listening to them sing. Sometimes I like to identify which birds are trilling using the Merlin Bird ID app. This allows you to record and list the type of birds you hear.
I’ve got dozens of screen captures of birds in my photos along with recordings of them singing in the app.
The songs of birds have inspired me to write poems, like this one: