A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, has revealed that spending time in nature - whether at home or abroad - helps people to reduce their own pain, with sounds like birds chirping and rivers running helping people feel relaxed.
Rachel Buxton, a research associate in the department of biology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, said: "It's good for what we're calling positive effect, so things like feelings of tranquility. It's good for alleviating stress and just a wide variety of benefits that we saw from alleviating pain to improving mood and cognitive ability ... I think it's really remarkable, not only that natural sounds confer these health benefits, but also the variety of health benefits."
George Wittemyer, co-author of the study, added: "We actually have pretty good evidence that there are major health benefits to being exposed to nature. The evidence is really clear. Listening to natural sounds reduces stress, reduces annoyance and it's correlated with positive health benefits."