Can't get to a National Park to celebrate its anniversary tomorrow? Transport yourself via your computer with these tranquil audio tracks.
Photo: Oleksandr Umanskyi / Shutterstock
Saturday, August 25 marks the 102nd anniversary of the National Park Service—and the National Park Foundation wants to make sure that everyone has a chance to get in on the celebration. (That is, if you can't make it to one of these must-see National Parks.)
To do so, they've launched a streaming service dubbed ParkTracks, a 12-minute mix of sounds from various national parks that'll practically teleport you into nature. (Related: Pink Noise Is the New White Noise and It's Going to Change Your Life)
The sounds themselves were captured by the National Park Service's Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division (yes, there is such a thing) and make it easy to pretend like you're sitting in Isle Royale, Yellowstone, Acadia, Canyonlands, the Everglades, or Olympic National Park instead of wherever you are right now. According to their website, the innovative audio experience was curated "to help counter the hustle and bustle of city life and tap into the trends of tranquility and mindfulness." (Sign. Us. Up.)
ICYDK, there are health perks to listening, too: Sounds of nature have the ability to increase parasympathetic nervous system activity (which decreases heart rate and sends your body into rest mode), researchers from England have reported. This can reduce stress and actually help you concentrate. That's because people are wired to enjoy natural sounds, the study's author reports. They blend into your subconscious and block out other noises, letting you zone in on the task at hand. So the next time you need to focus, ParkTracks might seriously come in handy. (Here are more ways to use nature to boost your health.)
Head over to FindYourPark.com to stream the sounds of nature and turn your cubicle or home into an aural nature preserve. Your brain (and probably your neighbors) will thank you.