When trying to explain white noise, one of the examples we frequently use is this: imagine you're in a crowded mall. If only one person is talking, your brain automatically focuses on the sound, trying to decipher the words that are being said - whether or not you really wanted to listen.
If, however, HUNDREDS of people are talking, the words become indistinguishable. Thus, the brain is able to relax and tune them out - and the voices become background noise. That is, essentially, how white noise works.
This constant sound does more than just mask distracting or disruptive noises - it also provides an unobtrusive background sound which is soothing to the mind.
- Have you ever tried to read something, only to realize that your mind has been wandering for the last two paragraphs? Give white noise a try, and see if your focus improves. For many, it does.
- Similarly, white noise can be very helpful for meditating. A quiet space can actually be too quiet. Adding a steady, pleasing sound can assist in tuning out the noise - both inside and outside your head.
- Finally, when trying to fall asleep, use white noise instead of counting proverbial sheep. Simply focus on the sound of the machine as a way to crowd out any thoughts or stressors racing unhelpfully through your mind. It will take some practice and your mind may wander back to your "To Do" list at first, but don't fret - calmly return to listening to the sound. The rest of the world will fade away as you drift towards sleep.