White noise. We seem to see the phrase everywhere lately. What exactly is it though?
By definition, white noise is all the possible sound frequencies combined for the human ear to hear. Think of it as the audio version of white light, which is created by combining all the different colors (or frequencies of light) together. But white noise, instead of colors, consists of a multitude of sounds.
An article from Guan Online explains it this way, "In the same way when all the possible sound frequencies are played combined of which the human ear can hear, the result is the production of white noise. It’s not a noise; in fact, it is white gentle sound like the sound of wind rustling through trees. One of the best examples of white noise is soothing sound of ocean waves. When this sound is mixed with music, it leads to hypnotism and relaxation."
Generally when we think of the benefits of white noise we think of how it helps with baby sleep. But the list goes way beyond that. Some of the other areas it's been found effective include:
Help sleep disorders and racing minds.
Helps relieve tinnitus.
Traveling, like on a plane, to block out sound around you.
Studying more efficiently.
Helps people with ADHD focus.
It seems meditation and white noise go hand in hand.
The benefits of white noise plus the benefits of meditation can go a long way and cause drastic positivity in your life such as:
Helps with memory and recollection.
Opens up self-awareness.
Plus much more.
If you're currently trying to meditate without some kind of white noise, stop now. By bringing white noise and meditation together, you have ultimate relaxation.
If you can fit meditation into your daily life, start slow. Most find it awkward because in the loud busy world of today, sitting in silence is weird. Meditation is a training of the mind, and people have been doing for over 3000 years. I'm sure they all had to start somewhere too.
It is said to actually feel the benefits as listed above you need to make it into a daily routine.
Playing some white noise in the background, with either voice guiding or not, are both good ways to start. It all has to do with your preferences.
I actually watched an interview with a Tibetan monk, and he said one of the biggest fallacies to meditation is people think you are suppose to think of nothing. To just sit there constantly fighting with yourself to keep your mind blank. When it is really the opposite.
You focus by calming down and going into the deepest parts of your mind. Unlocking, focusing, remembering.
Focus on your breathing, try to stay focus, and practice, practice, practice.
But still, if the idea of jumping right into meditation seems a little too daunting, just start with the white noise... have a thunderstorm, the roar of the ocean, or a babbling brook playing in the background. It is said that listening to white noise is actually as calming for the mind as meditation is.
“White noise can help you get into an almost meditative state, that state of flow when you are effortlessly moving through the world,” says neuroscientist Ben Martynoga of the National Institute for Medical Research in London.
It is similar to how some listen to music to relax, but this can also be distracting. You become focused on the music and not your relaxation. With white noise, you are less distracted and it calms the mind. You aren't waiting for that certain beat to drop, or that favorite part of the chorus to hit. Which in turn relaxes the body, causing the mind to diffuse cortisol, a major stress hormone.
So, the next time you feel the need to relax after a long day, while prepping dinner or taking a shower, try turning on some rainstorm white noise and see what happens.
Alanna Power is a mother of two from Arizona and has the blog, Diary of a Real Mom. There she talks of overcoming her past addictions and shows there are all types of moms with all types of lives, and all types of problems. It's a very candid and real look at motherhood. We are pleased to have her as a guest blogger for Fade Away Sleep Sounds.