Whether you’ve already reached Nirvana or are just starting out your introspective journey, a white noise machine is a helpful hack that can upgrade your meditation practice. In this guide, we’re looking at the LectroFan, a non-looping digital white noise machine that’s an industry leader for sound quality and volume.
- White Noise Creates An Even Meditative Atmosphere
If there’s one thing every great spiritual leader has in common, it’s that they have never had to deal with lousy neighbours blasting their UE Booms at midday. Even the most experienced meditators cannot be expected to ignore all noises and as our urban lives get denser we’re confronted with more disruptive sound pollution.
A white noise machine is a great counter to that, but first you have to understand what’s special about white noise. Just as white light includes all the colours of the visible spectrum, white noise includes all auditory frequencies. That means it can effectively ‘cover up’ any type of noise by simply drowning it out on the same frequencies. Even at a low volume, external noises can be effectively dampened with a white noise machine, creating an even and predictable sound landscape for you to meditate through.
This is because the brain struggles to differentiate between sounds on the same frequencies. It’s like multiple people trying to enter through the same door: if the white noise machine is blocking that entrance, no amount of footsteps or Tame Impala can get through.
- White Noise Contributes To An Effective ‘Routine’ With Self-Perpetuating Benefits
According to Headspace, one of the best indicators that an individual is actually benefiting from their meditation practice is whether or not they do it every day. The reason for this is that routines, over time, form new connections in the brain, such that your body begins to pre-empt the feelings associated with the routine before you even take part in them. This is why people who exercise daily begin to feel a spike in energy before they start running or lifting weights. In the same way, it’s why people who go to sleep at the same consistent time find themselves getting sleepy at the same time too.
The brain draws from many sources to determine whether there is a routine, primarily our senses. Using the sleep example, if you have a shower at the same time each night, or have a particular scented candle or incense you only use in your room, you will find that the shower or the smell actually initiates feelings of sleepiness. In the same way, consistently meditating with white noise will mean that white noise comes to signify and trigger feelings of relaxation, focus, and calm. For the LectroFan particularly, it comes programmed with twenty different sounds: this means you can pick one sound specifically to be your ‘meditation’ tune and benefit from those routine-effects while still using other sounds to sleep, work from home, or cover noise pollution.
- White Noise Fills The Brain’s Craving For Input, Without Undermining Your Flow
One major issue faced particularly by millennials is our constant desire for sensory engagement. We’re connected online 24 hours a day, working more and more through our phones and devices, and this constant stimulation makes the work of setting down to meditate even more difficult than it would be for our parents’ generation.
Often, you will sit down to meditate and find your brain chattering away, wondering about what’s on Twitter, whether you’ve missed an email, or if something is going wild on messenger.
For the same reason white noise is suggested as a sleep aid, it’s an effective meditation aid too. This is because it fills the mind’s desire for sensory input, without becoming a source of distraction. The evenly weighted hushing noise gives your ears something to focus on, solving the dreaded brain chatter and freeing your consciousness to focus more on your breathing and reflection.
- White Noise Can Actually Highlight Your Meditation Tapes or Videos
Previously we’ve talked about white noise dampening your surroundings, but at the right volume it can also be used to augment or highlight them. For example, if you are someone who follows a meditation video series (Earjobs’ favourite is Yoga with Adriene) then you can layer that over the white noise, allowing that video to appear prominently while distracting external noises are dismissed. The best way to do this is to think in layers:
- Bottom layer: distracting noises like outside traffic, neighbours, rattling windows.
- Middle layer: the white noise machine’s even hush.
- Top layer: your meditation video.
Provided you layer these three correctly with volume, the top layer being louder than the middle layer and so on, you will find that you can more easily focus on your practice. Here, the typical sources of distraction when listening to a meditation tape are removed, allowing you to benefit from the exact experience intended for by the creator. You’ll find that you get more out of each video than you did when it was competing for attention with random external noises.
If you have found your meditation practice plateauing or are struggling to begin, a white noise machine can be the secret weapon against distraction, creating a safe and relaxing atmosphere in which to develop your skills.
Our pick for price, quality, and versatility is the LectroFan, which has enough features and sounds to upgrade your meditation practice while also functioning as a great work from home and sleep aid.