One in five Europeans is currently exposed to noise levels considered to be harmful to health. The level of noise pollution is predicted to increase in the following years.

It’s bad

Noise pollution is the second largest environmental threat in Europe, after air pollution. Trains, planes and industry – our cities are simply dangerous to our health on a daily basis. Experts say that being exposed to the higher levels of noise may cause a wide range of diseases like anxiety, sleep disorder, heart disease or even premature deaths. Bad news – by 2050, ¾ of people will live in cities.
But noise pollution spreads nowadays more broadly and endangers also nature sites and protected areas as well. It is dangerous for wild animals, makes it more difficult for them to reproduce and forces them to migrate in search of safer and calmer places.

Healing sounds

And that’s how we get back to our favorite topic: nature. Do you recall how great it feels to hear gentle sounds of a stream or leaves on the wind? Nature sites have been always linked with relaxation and well-being. But researchers are now able to explain a restorative effect of the natural sounds on our psyche: they physically alter the connections in our brains, reducing our body’s natural fight-or-flight instinct. Useful tip: it works when the sounds are considered as familiar, so most likely that would be your local nature sounds and not an exotic parrot :).

Off for a walk

The challenge will be to find solutions to lower the levels of the overwhelming noise anyways. Experts say that switching to electric cars will help but won’t completely solve the problem. So, better get ready for a walk and see you in the woods!

For more please check: European Environment Agency report

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