The power of white noise for anxiety relief

Yesterday I discovered a relaxation technique that is so unbelievably simple and yet so astonishingly effective. The secret? White noise.

I’ve been experiencing a lot of anxiety recently which has had a detrimental impact on my ability to concentrate. I’ve been unable to focus on reading (which is my #1 coping hobby to escape stress) and I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to write blog posts (if you don’t believe me you should see the number of unfinished drafts I’ve got going on right now…).

Usually, I find it helpful to listen to music and block out the world around me when my environment is stressing me out. I live in a landlord-occupied dwelling which means that it’s often extremely difficult to get some peace and quiet (let alone privacy) when my anxiety is at it’s worst. However, I also don’t want to leave the house when my anxiety is overwhelming which leaves me with no other option than to drown out the sounds around me with music. Or at least this is what I used to do. But in the past few days I’ve noticed that a lot of my favorite music is now triggering negative emotions  such as sadness and loneliness. When I’m feeling anxious I don’t like to listen to upbeat, fast paced music; instead, I opt for slow, soothing music. Unfortunately, a majority of the slow music that I listen to tends to have themes of sadness in the lyrics. Can you see how that might be a bit problematic when you’re already dealing with depression and anxiety? Not the best combination…

Yesterday was one of those days where I was feeling extreme anxiety while my landlords were being loud, invasive and exacerbating my feelings of stress. I needed something to block out the sounds around me that didn’t involve music, so I searched “soothing anxiety relief” in YouTube and the above video was the second result which showed up in my search.

Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical about the effectiveness of listening to waves, but I was pleasantly surprised. Within minutes my anxiety level had decreased significantly and I was able to block out my surroundings. I decided to read with headphones in while listening to the video and not only was I able to focus on the book, but I felt as though the background noise actually sharpened my concentration. I completely blocked out all of the sounds around me, including my roommate who I share a room with. I could hardly believe how effective the sound of ocean waves could be in relieving my anxiety.

Currently, I am listening to the same video as I write this blog. I also listened to it this morning while reading a few chapters of my book (currently reading “Her” by Felicia Johnson) and once again I was able to block out everything else and focus on the story. I feel as though I’ve hit the anxiety relief jackpot! And the fact that it’s free is just the cherry on top!

If you find yourself really struggling with concentration due to anxiety I would definitely recommend giving this video a shot. I imagine it could also be effective in helping with insomnia; however, I haven’t experimented with this just yet.

I hope this video helps some of you out there who also struggle with anxiety! I know it seems a bit strange, but it really made a huge difference for me in the short time that I’ve used it. Give it a try and let me know how it works out in the comments!

xo

Ayla

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