Crickets chirping: that's why crickets chirping relaxes so well

Crickets chirping: that's why crickets chirping relaxes so well

Scientific studies prove the extremely positive effect of cricket chirps. They explain why we can relax and thus concentrate better. Along with birdsong, the song of crickets is one of the most amazing sounds of nature that has a calming effect from the first note. It gives us a sense of security. It helps keep us focused on what really matters.

Every day, countless stimuli assail us. Especially in urban areas, this often puts us under massive stress. We are in a constant state of alert in order to be able to react as quickly as possible at any time. This state has ensured the survival of our species. Because it saved our ancestors from wild animals or war-minded conspecifics. What is briefly a blessing becomes a curse as soon as we find ourselves in a never-ending state of alarm.

Cricket chirping lets our senses breathe a sigh of relief

In the study The sounds of safety: Stress and danger in music perception, scientists Thomas Schäfer, David Huron and Daniel Shanahan found that the chirping of crickets and grasshoppers creates a feeling of safety in us. The explanation for this amazing effect is that, thanks to the chirping, we judge the situation and the place to be without danger. The chirping serves as a sign for us to relax. Now we can turn our attention to the things that are important to us. Our sense of hearing is no longer busy trying to locate danger in the environment every second, it is no longer in fight-flight-freeze mode, which is anything but good for us in the long run.


Stressful: Our Fight-Flight-Freeze mode

The fight-flight-freeze mode goes back to a model developed by psychologist Walter Cannon. In his studies, he examined reactions in dangerous situations and developed the term Fight and Flight. He found that as soon as we feel we are in danger, our body abruptly releases adrenaline, which causes a massive increase in heartbeat, body strength and breathing rate. This adrenaline rush helps us decide whether to face danger or flee. Jeffrey Alan Gray expanded the Fight-Flight model to include the word freeze. The fear is so great that you want to "make yourself invisible" by literally freezing, hoping to escape the danger.


Soothing: Our Rest-and-Digest Mode

A permanent fight-flight-freeze mode is unhealthy. We need longer recovery phases in which we can relax. The massive increase in demand for wellness services and the desire to simply do nothing at all are a natural reaction to stressful everyday life. The rest-and-digest mode allows us to regain our composure. And it does amazing things for the body: the heartbeat slows down, we breathe more relaxed, the stomach can process essential nutrients of food better, because in rest our digestion is also boosted. Not to mention that we can also eat more consciously and healthily during quiet periods.


Intuitively we feel safe and relaxed

Listening to the chirping of crickets can help us relax: This is what Aníbald JS Ferreira, Marco Oliveira, João Silva and Vitor Almeida found in a study. They were able to prove that our cognitive performance improves as soon as we listen to the natural sounds of cricket chirps. We can concentrate better. This is also confirmed by the work of Stephen C. van Hedger, Howard C. Nusbaum, Luke Clohisy, Susanne M. Jaeggi, Martin Buschkuehl and Marc G. Bernan: In their study Of cricket chirps and car horns, they proved that our endogenous attentional system relaxes when we listen to the chirping of crickets, thereby increasing our concentration. Put simply, we no longer have to concentrate on whether we are threatened by danger from somewhere, but can now focus on what we would actually like to do. So chirping becomes a sign of quality time. This is certainly one of the reasons why the chirping of crickets is considered positive in many cultures and is associated with a feeling of relaxation worldwide.