Three tips from North Bay experts for staying calm in a noisy world

Indoors, make your home and workspace quieter with soft, sound-absorbing rugs and materials. This reduces reverberation and creates a feeling of peace.

“The more you do to dampen the reverb, the more intimate your area will be,” Krause writes. “The high blood pressure and the feeling of anxiety you sometimes experience should be greatly reduced by this simple act.”

And you don’t have to travel to the Brazilian rainforest to find peace.

Krause’s favorite places to visit are Alaska and the peaceful deserts of New Mexico. But there are at least a dozen quiet, secluded places within a 90-minute drive of his home in Sonoma, he points out.

The book ends with anecdotes from friends around the world, who were excited about all the wild sounds they noticed during the early days of the pandemic. Like the haze that disappeared over the cities in satellite photos, the toxic soundscape has also dissipated, to everyone’s delight.

“Natural soundscapes are deeply embedded in our DNA,” Krause said, explaining their calming effect. “It’s part of our ancient roots when we lived much more closely linked to the natural world experience and relied on it as the source of our culture, well-being and spirituality.

“As we have moved away from this world, we have lost our bearings and we have moved away from our own sources of life,” he added. “This alienation is evident in the pathologies we express through our behavior now, and the noise we surround ourselves with fails to mask the infirmities.”

At time of printing, Krause was installing “The Great Animal Orchestra” at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. The immersive audiovisual experience, created by Krause in collaboration with United Visual Artists, will be on display from November 20 to May 22, 2022 (pem.org/exhibitions).

For more information on Krause’s recording plans, visit wildsanctuary.com.

An invitation to slow down

For the past eight years, Susan Karle of Boyes Hot Springs has served as a Certified Ranger Guide leading “Forest Swim” walks. Started in Japan in the early 1980s, this shinrin-yoku practice helps you slow down, open your senses, and step into the present moment, without thinking about the past or the future.

“When I lead a walk, I mention it’s a radical act in our fast-paced modern world,” Karle said. “It can be uncomfortable because going fast keeps us out of touch with certain parts of ourselves. “

During the pandemic, she led a small group, Forest Friends, once a month in nature, where they could vent their stress and anxiety by touching rocks, sitting by trees and feeling the sun on their feet. play.

“The pandemic intensified people’s problems because they were isolated,” she said. “And our basic need for security has been shaken.”

Recently retired from psychotherapy work, Karle plans to continue her work in nature as a certified guide by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy.

“I attended the very first training that took place at Sugarloaf (Ridge State Park), where it all started,” she said. “Then he moved across the country and now there are international formations.”

Forest swimming walks don’t cover much distance, maybe a mile or less, so they are accessible to people of all skill levels. After the recent fires in North Bay, Karle led marches to help people heal from the trauma.

“It helps rebalance the nervous system and regain a sense of security,” she said of forest baths. “The hyper-vigilance goes away and people can enter a healthier state of being.”

Like psychotherapist Rick Hanson, author of “Hardwiring Happiness,” Karle believes that once you take a break and reach a calming state, new pathways in the brain are created to help you return to that state. .

During the pandemic, Karle began to sit daily in her garden near her oak tree every morning. Once a week she would go to a park for a deeper experience of nature.

“It really healed and it helped my nervous system,” she said. “When things get stressful, I take a deeper breath. “

During her walks in the forest, she invites people to establish a deeper connection with nature. She asks them to close their eyes and listen to the farthest and closest natural sound. Then she asks them to listen to their own breath and mix it with the other sounds, thus becoming part of the “symphony of sounds”.

This kind of experience, she says, is accessible to anyone, even if you’re in your own backyard or looking out a window. It’s easy to take a break with a short walk around your neighborhood.


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