Many of us have experienced sitting in our homes watching the rain fall outside, listening to it hit the roof, and enjoying whatever activities we have for our rainy days. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon event, and many people wonder why rain has this effect on everybody.
The truth is that rain produces a very similar noise to something called white noise. White noise, when played, has a calming effect on our brains via reduced sensory input.
The less input that comes into our brain, the less our body needs to release chemicals that eventually cause us to have stress and anxiety.
But there’s so much more that can be said about the calming effects of rain on individuals. So in this quick article, we’re going to look at that and a bunch of other information that might help you understand why you feel so calm on those rainy days.
Does It Happen To Everyone?
It seems like the rain has a calming effect on many people. But just like with everything else, it does not do that for everyone. For those who are overstimulated, the noises can’t calm your mind.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you don’t like to be confined or suffer from some sort of depression, it could potentially aggravate those situations. So that means that the effect of rain on an individual is an individual sensation and feeling.
How Does Our Brain Process the Sound?
Really to understand how rain is so calming on almost everyone, you have to understand how the brain processes sound.
The process doesn’t take long and is not as complicated as you might think, but many people don’t understand that the brain is highly involved in the process. The process of the brain interacting with music or sound goes like this:
- The sound enters the outer ear and travels through the middle ear vibrating tiny bones and the eardrum as it goes.
- Once it passes through the middle ear, it finds its way into the inner ear, where the cochlea and its tiny hair cells react to the different tones and pitches within the sound.
- The inner ear then translates that into electrical signals sent through the cochlear nerve system into your brain.
- The signal is sent along that nervous system into the cerebral cortex, which is the brain’s supercomputer. As the cortex does this, other areas of the brain are then activated to take in other specs of the sound. Other brain areas do things like pitch rhythm and dynamics.
- The brain then takes that sound and creates feelings and emotions, and that is how our brain analyzes sound.
Why Are Rain Sounds Neurologically Calming?
We just talked about how the brain analyzes sound, but there are neurological reasons why certain sounds cause us to be calm or get overly excited. When it comes to rain, that’s no exception.
Many neurologists say that rain is so calming to individuals because it is a repetitive pattern that registers our brain as not being a threat at all. Because there’s no threat, our body allows us to remain calm.
The sound itself may not be the only thing that causes us to get calm when rain is in the forecast. The smell itself is processed via the olfactory system. This has a direct correlation with two of the biggest areas of the brain that are connected with memory and emotion.
It could be that the smell tied in with the sound activates not only the cerebral cortex but the amygdala and the hippocampus, which all work together to give you a pleasant feeling.
Another factor may have to do with the negative ions that are present in the atmosphere when rain appears. Some studies show that our body takes in negative ions and, once they get into our bloodstream, create a reaction. This reaction helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Is Rain Sound White Noise?
One of the most common forms of relaxation when it comes to sound is utilizing white noise. Many people may assume that rain is white noise, but it is not considered to be this.
The noise itself is divided into several different color categories, With white noise being the most well- known. But rain falls within the category called pink noise. The colors correlate with the frequency at which your ear hears the noise.
Pink noise is very calming and has been shown to reduce brain waves and help promote sleep. This is why the effect of rain on our system has such a calming effect.
Is Listening To Rain Healthy?
Sound is one of the many holistic ways you can utilize to heal your body both physically and mentally. So listening to rain is healthy. That is because the sound, as we have talked about, affects your brain and causes calming and relaxing effects on the body.
Anything that can reduce the production of anxiety hormones and stress hormones produced by the fight or flight response built into our bodies is a good thing. So taking time to relax and enjoy the rain could very well be helping you both mentally and physically.
Final Thoughts on Why Does Rain Calm Me Down
So when it comes to the calming effect of rain, there are many reasons but primarily, the most scientifically proven aspect of sound and its effect on our mental state is that of the process our brain goes through when it processes sound.
The interaction of multiple different areas of the brain, along with the supercomputer aspect of the cerebral cortex, ensures that our body reduces stress hormones, and this is what causes the common effect.