Music has been around for centuries and was predominantly used for entertainment. You cannot imagine a celebration without a band playing your favourite tunes, can you? However, did you know music can benefit your mental and physical health? Several recent bodies of research have found that music can alleviate stress, promote happiness and much more. Music therapy is also one of the treatments that can help with your emotional well-being. Want to learn more? Keep reading.
Have you been under stress lately? Can you not remember the last time you came home after work and felt good about your day? That’s one of the certain signs you’re feeling stressed out, which further implies you need to destress urgently. Playing your favourite song on your phone or YouTube can instantly make you feel better. Thanks to the drop of cortisol and boost of dopamine hormone, you will be in a better mood the second you start listening to your favourite. Acute stress quickly becomes chronic if not treated on time. So, listen to music as often as possible to destress and prevent suffering from chronic stress.
When feeling down, do you reach for music to help you feel better? The same part of the brain is responsible for controlling your emotions and processing music, which is why the second you hear a familiar and happy tone, you will feel an improvement in your mood. Maintain a regular balance between emotional and mental health by listening to upbeat music regularly. Fussy babies will also stop crying when you play them their happy tune or start humming it. Try it, you’ll see the powers of music go beyond adults and transfer to kids too.
Music helps our well-being in more ways than just making us feel happy. When you start experiencing difficulties in communication, music therapy can be a potential means to solving the issue. Namely, music therapy provides a musical experience to patients tailored specifically to your needs. Having a music therapist to guide you through will make the process easier and hassle-free. Aside from improved communication, music therapy also helps with attention, and emotional regulation, strengthens fine motor skills and promotes social relationships.
According to some research, people who were given a memory task performed much better when they were working on the task, as they were listening to classical music. One of the explanations is that the repetitive patterns of music make our brain memorise better by creating its own patterns. Aside from memory, music also affects cognitive skills and learning skills. Classical music is particularly beneficial for learners as the soothing notes help the brain learn without distractions from disturbing beats or lyrics.
Similarly, learning to play an instrument will also stimulate our brain, and help create new connections. This is called neuroplasticity, aka the process during which the brain changes its structure and adapts to new input. Neuroplasticity is central to making and preserving memory. In other words, now’s the time to take those online violin lessons you’ve always dreamed of. Learning to play will also help develop your memory function further.
Helps with sleep
If you’re suffering from insomnia, you know how frustrating it is to not be able to fall asleep and get the much-needed rest. Fortunately, music helps with that problem as well. Namely, if you try listening to classical music before bed, you’ll have better chances of falling asleep quicker and with more ease. Your music taste will decide what count as relaxing for you. While classical music is relaxing for the majority of people, your music taste will be the one that decides whether classical music will help you fall asleep or if it will be a different genre.
Better exercise performance
Working out at a gym isn’t always the most entertaining experience. However, with familiar tunes in your ears, you can make it more enjoyable for you session after session. Walking down the street qualifies as exercise too, and if you put your earbuds in your ears and play your favourite songs, you will walk faster to follow the beat, increase your heart rate and consequently improve your performance. Quickly that will lead to shedding pounds and making your body look and feel much better.
Helps mindful eating
Did you know that music also affects the speed of your eating? On top of that, it affects the amount of food you consume. Namely, when we listen to soothing music, we’re likely to eat slower and consume less food. On the other hand, people who are exposed to fast beats will eat quicker and potentially eat more. If you’ve noticed that you eat too quickly, try playing classical or jazz music while you eat to start eating more mindfully.
Music is a powerful tool that can help mental and physical health in many ways. If you’re under stress or need a mood booster, listening to music will be one of the healthiest ways to solve the problem. Furthermore, music also helps with insomnia, memory, and communication, and improves exercise performance. Finally, when you notice that you’re eating much too fast and should start practising mindful eating, music can be a great way to help you eat with more attention.