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A Relaxing Way to Work

September 19, 2023 — Jim Neumann
Picture of a student sitting at her desk and with headphones on.

No matter how much you may enjoy your work, it can still be stressful underneath the surface. If you find yourself experiencing things like gritting your teeth, getting frequent headaches, or mumbling angrily at your computer screen, finding ways to minimize the stress would be good. One option that works for us are relaxing background sounds. While they surely can’t solve all your problems, they may relieve a little stress from your day. Here are some options to explore.

The easiest option is to search for audio clips online, e.g., on YouTube or Spotify. If the temptation of cat videos is too much or you’re in an environment that prohibits YouTube, there are also some online ambient sound generators. Check out myNoise or Noisli for a variety of focused sound sets. You can also access their library of sounds for a reasonable price. And don’t forget you can add an bookmark directly in DEVONthink, open it in its own window, and have background sounds right from our application.

For users of macOS Ventura, open System Settings > Accessibility > Audio. In the Background Sounds section, click the Choose button. Download and select the desired sound, e.g., Stream. Adjust the volume to your desired level and now you have the gentle sound of a stream playing behind other system sounds. While it lacks features like playing multiple sounds or loading your own samples, it can still provide a relaxing backdrop as you work.

There are also some bespoke ambient sound applications that give you the ability to play background sounds, but many don’t seem to be under active development.

Wherever they’re from, these subtle sounds can really help improve your mood and reduce some stress. We hope these suggestions help any of you having a stressful or down day. Just give it a try.