Link Bird Benefits to Your Life
Birds can bring many benefits to your life. They can help you to feel more energized, relieve depression, improve your mood, and reduce oxidative stress.
Migratory birds control pests
Birds are often a welcome sight for most people. Their melodious song, beautiful feathers, and their ability to make human contact fun are all reasons why we enjoy them. But when birds start invading our gardens or making nuisance noises in our buildings, we may need to find a way to get rid of them.
Many birds are actually beneficial to our environment. They eat insects, seeds, and grains, and they help to control the population of many wild species.
However, some species can cause serious problems. These include swans, ducks, and geese. Several of these species have been known to carry parasites that can cause life-threatening infections. Other species are known to feed on fish from garden ponds.
Birdsong improves moods
Birdsong may sound a bit hokey to many people, but it has been proven to have a positive impact on your mood. In fact, research suggests that listening to birdsong can help reduce your symptoms of depression.
The effect of birdsong on your mood is not just limited to your ears, though. It has been shown that listening to birdsong can actually reduce your anxiety and paranoia.
A German study reveals that listening to birdsong can lower your anxiety level and reduce your symptoms of depression. What’s more, the effects of this natural sound are likely to last for a long time.
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany studied the effects of birdsong on your mental health. They gathered 295 participants and ran an online experiment. The results were published in Scientific Reports.
Birdsong relieves depression
Birdsong has been shown to relieve depression and anxiety. It may be because the sounds elicit a relaxing sensation. Or it could be because they signal a safe, threatening-free environment.
Researchers in Germany are studying the effects of natural bird sounds. They find that the benefits of birdsong include reduced levels of anxiety and paranoia. But the study has yet to establish a direct link between birdsong and depressive states.
To test this theory, researchers exposed 295 participants to four different soundscapes. These included high-traffic noise, low-traffic noise, and bird sounds. All were recorded for six minutes. After exposure to the birdsongs, participants took a number of surveys to measure mood and other mental health symptoms. Then, they completed a cognitive test to gauge their cognition.
Birdsong reduces oxidative stress
Songbirds reduce anxiety and paranoia and may represent a biologically valuable safe space. These benefits are also seen in people with mental illnesses, such as anxiety. The benefits of birdsong are likely to be related to the reduction of oxidative stress and the increase in antioxidant defense.
Singing is an activity that requires a high metabolic rate. It can also raise the levels of ROS. This activity is costly in terms of oxidative stress. However, it may be important to differentiate the costs incurred from song activity from limitations imposed by oxidative stress.
In order to determine the underlying cause of oxidative stress, it is important to perform experimental manipulations of song rate. Although a handful of studies have investigated the effects of birdsong on oxidative status, more research is needed.
Longitudinal associations between seeing or hearing birds and mental wellbeing
A recent study at King’s College London found that sighting or hearing birds boosts our mental well-being. The effect is pronounced, at least in the short term. In fact, researchers found that the average score on a mental wellbeing test increased by more than half a point. They also discovered that the effect was non-existent in the absence of actual bird sightings.
Other studies have explored the same topic. However, the links between birds and mental health are still tenuous. As such, the findings from the King’s study are of particular interest.
The main takeaway is that while some benefits last for hours, days or even weeks, many of the aforementioned effects may be short-lived. Nonetheless, the positive effect of bird encounters remains intact.
Methodological limitations of studies
The mental health benefits of birdlife have been poorly understood in previous studies. However, there is now a better understanding of the role that birds and green spaces play in improving people’s mental health. This knowledge can be applied to improve mental healthcare policies. It also has implications for environmental protection and wildlife conservation.
The main objective of the study was to explore the link between birdlife and mental wellbeing. To achieve this, the research sample was asked to use a smartphone application – the Urban Mind – to perform ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Using this method, researchers collected 26,856 ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) over a 42-month period.