Ambient Music Can Be a Stressed Student’s Secret Weapon
White noise can help reduce your school-related anxiety
Opinions / March 28, 2020
There are few things that calm me down like the endless droning of ambient music. Whenever academic stress kicks in to the max, listening to ambient music helps clear my head. The continuous, soft noise produced by ambience is something not to be slept on (ironic, because it literally can put you into a peaceful slumber.)
As a student, stress is a constant part of my life. Deadlines, grades, meeting up with fellow classmates to work on a project — all of these things contribute to what sometimes becomes a very anxiety-inducing experience.
Destressing is vital when it comes to surviving these troublesome times. By taking a load off your mind, you can retain information longer, finish assignments on time, and generally feel more confident in your work.
Practicing activities that involve the reduction of stress are key to making it in university. Music can be a helpful tool in maintaining a healthy mind, and no genre can calm one down faster than ambient music.
Those who’ve walked past an industrial environment or live near one can testify that the droning ambience in the background of factories can be calming to a degree. From the soft clanging of metal to the droning of machinery, there is a soothing quality to sound produced from industrial environments.
British neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks notes that, throughout the 40 years of his career, ambient music has been one of the two non-pharmaceutical therapies, next to gardening, that he recommends. He states that patients with neurological diseases can benefit greatly from these practices. He says that a comatose patient in his care actually woke up and responded to an experimental performance of jazz by saying, “Do you call that music?”
Using ambient music as a form of stress relief could be beneficial to one’s health, and it’s free. There are countless ambient tracks on the internet that are readily accessible, so you can use them anytime.
They can be used for more than stress relief too. I can testify that I work better when I have ambient tracks playing in the background. Instead of being distracted by song structure, vocals, and variance in genres, an ambient track provides a constant stream of noise that can run for nearly an hour depending on who uploaded it.
If you’re not into droning noise, you can also put on a movie or a TV show in the background. This may not work for everyone, as you may find yourself distracted between giving your work attention and focusing on the dialogue and noise made by the movie. For those with OCD, this can be actually be very disrupting, so do whatever works best for you and feel free to try out different things.
That being said, I encourage you to give ambient music a try. One notable publisher of ambient music is a YouTube channel called Iron Cthulhu Apocalypse, which specialises in “dark ambience,” a spooky type of ambient music that taps into everyone’s desire to listen to the presence of an eldritch abomination.