In the modern world, we often find ourselves in situations where stress can take control of our mind and body, affecting our mood, well-being, and interactions with others. Whether you live in a relatively relaxed and stress-free lifestyle or find that stress negatively affects your day-to-day life, we will all come to a point in our lives when we need to learn to understand and manage stress. ‘Stress.
There have been numerous studies on the effect that listening to music can have on both stress levels and mood. This research has routinely supported the incredibly positive change that can be achieved when incorporating music listening into various daily activities, as well as some more difficult unusual tasks.
What genre should I listen to?
Of course, not all musical genres will have the same emotional effect on individual listeners. Factors such as music genre preference and the listener’s current mood will affect how the music is received. However, it has been suggested that stress levels can still be reduced even if you don’t particularly like the music you’re listening to. For example, you may not be a big fan of heavy metal, but listening in a stressful situation could still help reduce your overall stress levels.
Jazz and classical music are said to be most effective in reducing stress levels, improving mood, and even increasing brain function. Cortisol is a stress hormone released in the body to help cope with a stressful situation. For example, in history, stress was more likely to come from escaping a predator. This stress hormone tells your body to send more energy to your muscles to help you run faster. Now, it’s not too often in modern times that we find ourselves running away from predators, but the same theory still applies. Research has shown that classical music can effectively reduce levels of stress hormones such as cortisone and cortisol. You may also like to know that not only classical music can have a positive effect on your sleep. Marconi Union’s “Weightless” is said to be one of the most relaxing songs ever created.
How it works?
There are many reasons why listening to music can help reduce stress levels and improve mood. Perhaps most obvious is its ability to drown out the irritating noises, distractions, or negativity surrounding it. Just putting on headphones and pressing play can help you focus and keep you from being distracted by the conversations around you, for example.
Have you ever felt the need to drive fast while listening to loud music in your car? This is a good example of how music can provoke certain emotions and reactions in the human body. Observed with an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, fast music at 120-130 beats per minute can increase anxiety. Now let’s think about the opposite scenario … low-paced music at about 50-60 beats per minute can only lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Low-pitched music that incorporates softly rounded melodies along with elements of nature such as rain, birds or waves can have even more impact, helping to slow down breathing and reduce the release of these dreaded stress hormones. .
How does music help during meditation?
Closing the distractions around you and focusing on breathing can be a challenge if you may find yourself in a noisy or busy environment. During meditation, listening to music can help you avoid these irritating distractions. When you listen to music during meditation, many discover that the endless talk that usually takes place inside the brain will begin to fade and you can get thoughtless, approaching, in turn, the meditative state you want to reach. While music can be an amazing aid for all levels, it can be especially helpful for those who are new to meditation and need a little extra help when trying to concentrate.
As we said before, you should find your preference when it comes to meditation music. Of course, there are some types of music that are commonly used for meditation, such as instrumental tracks, chants, and ambient noise, including the sounds of rain and waterfall. If you are new to meditation, you may find yourself thinking too much about music. You should try to focus on the feelings in your body that evoke the music instead of the music itself.
According to Google trends, there has been a significant increase in the number of people seeking meditation music since the early 2000’s and rightly so. With a combination of increased educational resources on the benefits of meditation along with just about any music you want to be available online, sites like youtube have become great platforms for a perfect meditation playlist.
How else can music benefit me?
While stress reduction has been the focus of many studies and research in recent years, there are other benefits that music can have on both the body and the mind.
Improves exercise – It has been shown that listening to music while exercising can promote incredible improvements not only in mental but also physical stimulation. This in turn increases overall performance. Music has also been shown to be a great motivator when it comes to aerobic exercise.
Relieves pain and promotes healing Similar to meditation, listening to music can be a great tool when it comes to injury recovery or surgery. Many studies have shown that patients who incorporated music into their care program felt less pain and had a more positive recovery process.
Improves memory Listening to music has proven to be not only an incredibly effective way to prevent memory loss, but also a tool to recover lost memories. The melody and rhythm of music can help our brain create patterns that in turn improve memory and memory retention.
Improved intimacy and relationships – When used in conjunction with meditation, listening to music can promote improvements not only in your relationships with friends, family, colleagues, and partners, but can also help improve intimacy. Music and meditation together can help you understand, recognize, and deal with the emotions you have been struggling with.
Improves eating habits – It may be surprising to know that listening to music and meditating can really have a positive impact on eating habits. It is known that emotions such as sadness and conditions such as depression can encourage overeating or comforting eating. Meditation and music can help you manage these emotions without the help of food. Music can also help you relax while eating, lowering your heart rate and, in turn, the speed at which you eat. This is likely to make you fuller faster and therefore eat less.
Improves sleep – The parasympathetic nervous system affects the way we relax and prepare for sleep. Studies have shown that this system is positively affected, favoring a more restful and consistent sleep in those who listen to about 40-45 minutes of relaxing music before bed. The effectiveness of this theory really depends on the type of music you listen to.
In conclusion, whatever the activity or goal, there is no denying that music can have an incredibly positive impact on our lives when used properly. For more information, see 15 amazing ways music can affect our lives and our brains.
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