Listen to the Birds

Image Description: A perched, baby robin.

A Stress Relief/Trauma Life Hack*:

Listen to bird songs.

A recording will definitely do, but if you can listen to the real birds outside chirping away, even better. Bird songs calm our nervous systems.

Fun Facts: The sounds of birds are lovely, and they remind us of spring (great things). But they’re also calming for evolutionary reasons too. When our early human ancestors heard birds chirping and singing in the trees, that meant there probably weren’t any predators around. So everyone could be more calm and less on guard.

And our bodies remember this. So listen away!

Bird songs, along with other forms of calm, activate our parasympathetic nervous systems. And in a time of collective trauma, this is what we need. Our autonomic nervous systems have a 1) sympathetic nervous system which ramps up our ‘fight or flight’ responses, and a 2) parasympathetic nervous system which calms them down.

So in times of stress and trauma, we want all the life hacks we can muster to activate the parasympathetic nervous system.

Bird songs are a good one!

Renee Roederer

* I want to thank Shannon Dingle for a series of tweets she did in which she gave some valuable ‘trauma life hacks.’ I’m borrowing her phrase, so I want to give a nod to her work and her Twitter handle: @ShannonDingle

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