Music has been used for hundreds of years as a way to calm our minds and restore harmony between mind and body. Research done at Stanford University tells us that listening to music can change brain functions to the same extent that medication does. In today’s society, with all the terrible things we are forced to deal with on a daily basis, we could all use something to help sooth our minds.
Studies all around the world have shown that music can reduce chronic pain, depression, and blood pressure. It can also help improve memory and attention spans. Listening to music can have a relaxing effect on our minds and decrease stress in our lives. Here are some ways that music has proven to be relaxing, and some ways to help you incorporate music into your lives.
- It has been proven that relaxing music can help the body return to a non-stressed state in a quick manner. Relaxing music can also cause the body to have a shorter stress response in a bad situation, which helps to prevent it from getting worn out. If you are able to keep your stress at a lower level, you will have much more productivity in your day. Slow, relaxing music can produce an immune and mood boosting effect on you by lowering cortisol levels and raising endorphin levels.
- Listening to music before and after surgery in the hospital has proven to reduce stress and anxiety in patients. Music therapy as reduced the emotional distress among cancer patients.
- You might be wondering what types or styles of music you should listen to in order to keep yourself calm. Everyone is different, and different styles might work for you than another. But research has shown that Native American, Celtic, Indian string instruments, and flutes are very relaxing. Sounds of nature also can be soothing, such as the sound of rain, thunder, the trickling or a mountain stream, or bird songs. Classical music is also a favorite in a relaxing atmosphere.
There are many ways to incorporate music into your life on a regular basis. Just some of these ways are listed below:
- Wake up to music in the morning instead of an alarm clock. A familiar piece of music could ease you into the day and start you in a good mood.
- Sing or play an instrument daily. Singing is one of the best ways to release tension. It slows and regulates breathing and promotes relaxation. Pick songs to sing that will put you in a good mood, inspire you or help you to relax. Playing an instrument is just as relaxing because it engages more areas of the brain than any other activity. It will shift your thought process to something positive.
- Exercise to music. Even if you go on a morning walk or jog, take music with you. All exercise is more enjoyable while listening to your favorite tunes!
- Listen to music in your car when you are driving. It is very easy to get stressed when you are caught in traffic. Keep a collection of music in your car that you know will calm you and release tension. Singing along will take the relaxation to another level.
- Put on some background music at work. It will help keep everyone in a better mood and feel less overwhelmed by the pressures of the job.
- Relax with music when you get home at the end of the day, instead of putting the tv on. Allow the sound of the music to flow through you and let go of the stress of your day.
Music is powerful and can affect our perceptions, emotions, and physical well-being. The key to determining what music works best for you is to pay attention to how it makes you feel. The wrong kind of music can agitate you and add to your stress. Find something that helps you to relax your system and put you in a good mood! Come check out the soothing and calm hallways at the Omaha School of Music and Dance at 144th and Dodge! We will help you find the zen you need in your life! www.omahaschoolofmusicanddance.com