Music in itself is healing. Irrespective of culture, origin, race and ethnicity music connects to all. We may not agree on a lot of things, but we all love music! There are a lot of music benefits including lowering stress levels, raising states of consciousness, changing moods, accessing different states of mind, developing the brain and is useful in meditation -which has a ton of health benefits.
Music is an art form that also provides entertainment and pleasure. In addition, music works as a medicine for the soul and body. When the right type of music is chosen, it has amazing effects on both the mind and body. Music has a special power to move us and stir our emotions. Anyone who has ever wiped tears away from their eyes listening to their favorite sad song will know how powerful simple notes and chords can be.
Now, scientific studies have shown that music really can change our mood and even help us concentrate. Read on music benefits to learn how listening to tunes can ramp up your health.
1. Music Increases Happiness
music has the power to do so much. It can make you feel happy, sad, excited or even pumped up. When you listen to music, you release a chemical in your brain called dopamine– a ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter. It causes us to feel emotions like happiness, excitement, joy, etc. Listening to music provides us with the same burst of happiness that we would get from eating a piece of chocolate, sex or certain drugs. If you are ever in need of an emotional boost, let it be known that it only takes 15 minutes of listening to your favorite tunes to get a natural high.
2. Music Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Many people struggle with stress and anxiety on a daily basis. To deal with these problems, one of the easiest options is listening to slow-tempo and low-pitch music, without lyrics or loud instrumentation. It helps you decrease stress level hormone called cortisol, which counteracts the effects of chronic stress. This is a crucial finding because stress causes 60% of all our diseases and illnesses. A study found that if people participated in making music by conducting multiple percussion instruments and singing, their immune system was actually bumped up even more than if they passively listened.
3. Improves Sleep Quality
Over 30% of Americans suffer from insomnia. A study indicated that students who listen to music for 45 minutes before going to sleep showed significant better sleep. If you have difficulty sleeping soundly, listen to some soothing music before bedtime. However, avoid listening to rock or retro music, which can have the opposite effect.
Soothing and relaxing classical music reduces sympathetic nervous system activity, alleviates anxiety, relaxes the muscles and provides a distraction from thoughts that do not allow you to sleep. By improving your sleep quality, you will feel reduced fatigue, tiredness, depression, and problems in daytime functioning.
Make it a habit to listen to 30 to 45 minutes of relaxing music prior to bedtime to enjoy restful sleep throughout the night.
Researchers have found that music can help you acknowledge and remember information better. Music also promotes cognitive health. Listening to music can also help you learn and recall information more efficiently. Though it depends on the degree to which you like the music and whether or not you play an instrument.
A 2006 study published in Brain found a strong connection between listening to music and brain development. It found that young children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory over the course of a year as compared to children who do not receive musical training.
5. Music Decreases Pain
Music has a direct effect on our hormones; it can even be considered a natural antidepressant. This is because certain tunes cause the release of serotonin and dopamine (neurotransmitters) in the brain that leads to increased feelings of happiness and well-being. It also releases norepinephrine, which is a hormone that invokes feelings of euphoria.
More than 350 million people suffer from depression around the world. The above research also found that symptoms of depression only decreased in the group that listened to classical or relaxing music before going to bed. One good thing about music: when it hits you, you feel no pain.
6. It Helps You Eat Less
There’s a friendly tie of some sort between music and eating. Playing soft music during a meal can help people slow down while eating. This, in turn, makes them more aware of when they become full. Plus, music helps reduce anxiety. In response to anxiety, the body makes extra ghrelin, which makes you crave more foods that are high in carbohydrates and fat. So, reducing your anxiety with music can help you eat healthier.
When eating at home, soften the lighting in the room and listen to some soothing music in order to consume fewer calories and enjoy your meal more. Taking in fewer calories will go a long way in managing your weight.
7. Music Motivates to Exercise More
Music can help improve your athletic performance. It aids exercise performance by reducing the feeling of fatigue, increasing the levels of psychological arousal and improving motor coordination.
Listening to those top workout tracks can boost physical performance and increase endurance during a tough exercise session. This works partly through the power of distraction: When we’re focusing on a favorite album, we may not notice that we just ran an extra mile.
In addition to these music benefits, there are so many more, including decreases in pain thresholds, the relaxing nature it provides to patients before and after surgery, increasing memory pathways for patients with Alzheimer’s, the improvement of recovery time for patients who suffered a stroke, the ability to keep your brain healthy in old age, to name a few. Music really does serve as a therapy for all, whether as medicine in a hospital or a heartache on a rainy day.