Does the sound of raindrops softly tapping on your window instantly calm your mood? If you answered yes, you're not alone. The soothing effect of sounds found in nature has been a cornerstone of meditation and mindfulness practices for aeons. Cue the latest up-and-coming wellness trend: Thunder Therapy.
According to a 2016 study by researchers at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, natural sounds like rainfall, rustling leaves and babbling streams physically alter neural pathways in our brains, helping us to reach a calmer state of mind.
Researchers found that individuals who listened to artificial sounds had patterns of inward-focused attention, linked to conditions such as depression, anxiety and PTSD.
However, those who listened to nature sounds encouraged more external-focused attention, indicating higher levels of relaxation. The study concludes that just like any other natural elements such as the rain or wind, listening to the simulated sounds of thunder can have a calming effect on those suffering from anxiety-related conditions.
Thankfully, you don't need to wait for the next thunderstorm to test out the soothing properties of thunder, as there is a range of apps available to download from the comfort of your own bed, such as Rain Rain Sleep Sounds. You can also find hours of simulated storms on YouTube.