Reduce Stress With Music
When stress hits, there are several ways to manage the storm of emotional and physical feelings that arise. One remedy for stress that has endured since early civilization is music. For generations, culture has produced music not just for entertainment but for our well-being. If youre feeling stressed this Monday, put on your headphones and tune out!
Research has shown that listening to music may have an effect on anxiety, blood pressure, and stress hormones. Certain kinds of music may reduce those symptoms, namely soft, classical music. A study conducted by Mindlab International put sensors on people trying to complete a stress-inducing puzzle. While they worked on the puzzles and increased their stress levels, different participants listened to different songs while the sensors recorded their bodies reaction to the music. Certain songs were shown to reduce stress-related symptoms one song in particular showed a 65 percent reduction in anxiety and a 35 percent reduction in physiological resting rates.
That song, Weightless by Marconi Union, was specifically crafted to be a stress-relieving piece of music. The group worked with sound therapists to develop it and incorporate carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines that decrease a listeners heart rate and cortisol level.
What Mean Music Therapy
Music Therapy is the clinical & evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.
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Some students do decide ahead of time to get a bachelors in music, but not music therapy, and then complete a music therapy masters equivalency program . The combined equivalency + masters program is typically 3 years + and approximately 6 month internship.
Finish the program in approximately 2 years. Transition into the Master of Arts in Music Therapy graduate program if desired. If you have questions about the Music Therapy Equivalency Distance Program, contact Program Coordinator Larisa McHugh. Prerequisites and Program Requirements.
Equivalency plus MMT program requirements. The Equivalency Plus MMT track is designed for students that have completed a bachelors degree that is not in music therapy, but have a strong background in music. Students admitted into the Equivalency Plus MMT program are required to complete the equivalency courses in order to continue the progression into the master of music therapy coursework.
Is Playing A Musical Instrument Good For Your Health
ByFred Cicetti22 October 2013
“The Healthy Geezer” answers questions about health and aging in his weekly column.
Question: I’m 66 and I’m thinking of taking up a musical instrument. I hear that this will be good for my health. Is this true?
Playing an instrument seems to improve your health in a variety of ways. I play the saxophone almost every day, and can confirm that playing music definitely relieves stress. And stress can be bad for your mental and physical health.
There’s a lot of evidence that playing music is good for you.
According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, playing an instrument as a child keeps the mind sharper as we age.
The study, done at the University of Kansas Medical Center, recruited 70 healthy adults ages 60 to 83, who were divided into groups based on their levels of musical experience. The musicians performed better on several cognitive tests than individuals who had never studied an instrument or learned how to read music. The brain functions measured by the tests tend to decline with age.
“Musical activity throughout life may serve as a challenging cognitive exercise, making your brain fitter and more capable of accommodating the challenges of aging,” said lead researcher Brenda Hanna-Pladdy. “Since studying an instrument requires years of practice and learning, it may create alternate connections in the brain that could compensate for cognitive declines as we get older.”
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How Was This Miracle Anti
Researchers at Mindlab International in the U.K. wanted to research what type of music induces relaxation the most. The study involved getting participants to solve a variety of puzzles while hooked up to sensors. While solving the puzzles, participants were exposed to different songs. Researchers measured their brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breathing.
They found that one song in particular Weightless led to a 65 percent reduction in participants overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in physiological resting rates.
In fact, the song works so well in reducing anxiety that many of the female participants reported feeling sleepy. This fact prompted lead researcher Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson to advise against listening to it while driving. Here is the song for your listening enjoyment:
If you find yourself feeling overly stressed or anxious, turn to this song for relaxation and anxiety relief. Music provides a free, easy way to destress and zone out from a long day of work or school. With the worlds stress levels at an all-time high, we owe it to ourselves to tune out of the demands of society. Just plug in to your own needs every once in a while.
Music Is A Very Powerful Tool When It Comes To Stress Management
Most people enjoy listening to, playing, and/or creating music. Music is all around us on the radio, in TV commercials, at bars and other venues where we can go and see our favorite band. Listening to music is a lot of fun, but did you know it can also be beneficial to mental health? Stress and anxiety affect many peoples lives. The good news is that music can help and is a very powerful tool when it comes to stress management.
Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are mental health conditions in which people suffer from the inability to relax or cope with the stress of life. Stress and anxiety can be harmful to the body. Excessive worrying, feelings of stress and anxiety can release the stress hormone cortisol. This can cause physical illness such as a headache, a feeling of nausea, increase or decrease in appetite, and other physical symptoms.
It also can result in a person coping in unhealthy ways such as smoking, excessive drinking, and drug use, and poor hygiene and eating habits. Since life will be stressful and worrying will not completely go away, learning to cope with stress and anxiety in healthy ways can be beneficial to your physical and mental health.
Music and Emotions
Listening to Music
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How It Helps With Depression
Studies suggest that music therapy can improve symptoms of depression, with those undergoing music therapy along with standard treatments for depression such as talking therapy improving more than people who only received standard therapy.
Listening to music can also release dopamine, which is a hormone that makes people feel good, and endorphins, which are hormones that can induce happy moods and relieve pain.
Although music therapy is not a cure for depression, it can offer
Harnessing The Soothing Power Of Music
We can implement the same strategies ourselves wherever we may find ourselves. We can choose to play soothing music in any of the following settings:
- At home .
- In the car.
- While taking public transit or traveling in an airplane.
- While exercising outside .
Headphones can be a good option if there are noises in your immediate environment, if you are on the move, or if you are not wishing to disturb others around you.
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How Can Listening To Music Reduce Stress
Stress the feeling of emotional tension, overwhelm, or feeling unable to cope affects us mentally and physically.
Stress has a biological impact that causes your body to release specific hormones and chemicals that activate your brain in certain ways. For example, when we are highly stressed, our heart rate and blood pressure can go up, and our adrenal gland begins producing cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.
Short term, cortisol can help us find the focus and energy we need to deal with a difficult situation, but when the body is exposed to excess cortisol for a prolonged period of time, it causes perpetual, exhausting states of fight, flight, or freeze. Ongoing or chronic stress can lead to developing an anxiety disorder, depression, chronic pain, and more.
Across time and space, music has had tremendous success as a tool for stress relief. While some types of music such as classical and ambient have long been studied for their calming effects, listening to your personal favorite music of any genre also has benefits.
A 2020 overview of research into music and stress suggests that listening to music can:
- lower our heart rate and cortisol levels
- release endorphins and improve our sense of well-being
- distract us, reducing physical and emotional stress levels
- reduce stress-related symptoms, whether used in a clinical environment or in daily life
Some recent findings include the following:
Music Can Help Students Cope With The Stress And Anxiety Of Being In College
Music therapy gives college students an engaging and effective way to deal with stress and anxiety
Photo by Joey Coalter
“One of the many benefits of music is stress reduction.” Illustration published on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
Being a college student comes with inevitable stress.
Instead of turning to drinking and drugs for relief during such demanding times, students can turn to safer and more positive ways of releasing stress.
Music therapy is not as widespread a topic as it should be, especially in regards to its numerous healing properties.
Therapy, in general, is a scary concept for most people due to the stigmas that surround it.
However, musical therapy has various healing qualities and can offer many benefits to those who partake in it.
For example, studies show that engaging with music in some way can reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
Music therapy is using music as a tool to meet non-musical goals, whether it is to relieve depression, stress or pain. It even lowers blood pressure depending on the type of music, and it can even stimulate the brain, Clarivel Santos, who is a former counselor at ASU and music therapist-board certified, said.
Most people love music it is the supposed universal language of mankind. So it comes as no surprise that anyone from cancer patients to college students has access to the benefits of music therapy.
However, listening to music is not the only form of music therapy.
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Create Your Own Therapeutic Playlist
When you play music as you’re cleaning the house or listen to an energetic song during your morning workout, you could be using music therapeutically without even realizing it. However, by thoughtfully creating a selection of music, you can use a playlist to combat stress, achieve relaxation, increase motivation, and evoke positive emotions.
Here is an example of a playlist that a person compiled for themselves: Go from anxious to relaxed!
Example “Anxious to Relaxed” Playlist
Krista Aistars, volunteer at the Institute for Therapy through the Arts in Chicago, created an example playlist to showcase how music can bring you from anxious to relaxed.
1. “All Shall Perish” by Wage Slaves
2. “John the Fisherman” by Primus
3. “Come As You Are” by Nirvana
4. “Sitting on Top of the World” by The Grateful Dead
5. “Big Country” by Bela Fleck, Mike Marshall and Edgar Meyer
6. “Going to California” by Led Zeppelin
7. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” by Bob Dylan
8. “Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones
9. “A Light, To Guide You” by Clem Leek
10. Acoustic guitar, yoga and meditation music
To start the process, address your current emotional state. Is it anxious, restless, or sad? How would you like to feel instead? With that goal in mind, know that it’s important to bring yourself there gradually through a progression of music that first empathizes with your current mood and then slowly delivers you to your desired emotional state.
Show/hide Words To Know
Enzyme: a protein that changes the speed of chemical reactions.
Hormone: a chemical message released by cells into the body that affects other cells in the body.
Immune system: all the cells, tissues, and organs involved in fighting infection or disease in the body… more
Nervous system: organ system made of a network of specialized cells called neurons that coordinate the actions of an animal and transmit signals to and from different parts of the body… more
Stress: a feeling we have when reacting to a particular event. Examples of stressful situations include studying before a big test or when a basketball player has to take a shot that could win the game.
Stressor: an event or object that leads a person to feel stressed and experience a stress response.
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Spend Time With Friends And Family
Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times.
Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in tough times.
One study found that for women in particular, spending time with friends and children helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever. This effect is called tend and befriend, and is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response .
Keep in mind that both men and women benefit from friendship.
Another study found that men and women with the fewest social connections were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety .
Having strong social ties may help you get through stressful times and lower your risk of anxiety.
Its hard to feel anxious when youre laughing. Its good for your health, and there are a few ways it may help relieve stress:
- Relieving your stress response.
- Relieving tension by relaxing your muscles.
In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.
A study among people with cancer found that people in the laughter intervention group experienced more stress relief than those who were simply distracted (
Try watching a funny TV show or hanging out with friends who make you laugh.
Find the humor in everyday life, spend time with funny friends or watch a comedy show to help relieve stress.
Not all stressors are within your control, but some are.
One way to do this may be to say no more often.
The Best Type Of Music For Relaxation
As mentioned above, the type of music you listen to affects your body in different ways, which can result in different moods.
Just as fast, upbeat music may provide a burst of energy while exercising, slower music has been shown to be more relaxing. Classical music, in particular, can help slow the pulse and heart rate, as well as decrease levels of stress hormones. So, if youre looking to wind down after a long day, opt for slower instrumental, classical, or ambient music.
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Music Reduces Stress And Eases Anxiety
Music has a unique link to our emotions, and research has found that it can be used as an extremely effective stress management tool.
Just like listening to slow music to calm the body, music can also have a relaxing effect on the mind. Researchers at Stanford University found that listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication. Since music is so widely available and inexpensive, its an easy stress reduction option.
So, what type of music reduces stress best? Heres what we found:
- Native American, Celtic, Indian stringed-instruments, drums and flutes
- sounds of rain, thunder and nature sounds
- light jazz, classical and easy listening music
You must be the ultimate judge, however, of relaxing music. If Mozart isnt quite doing it for you, explore other options that help you naturally relax.
HelpGuide.org, a nonprofit mental health and well-being organization encourages individuals to practice a healthy sonic diet. They suggest that when choosing locations to eat, hold business meetings, or visit with friends, be conscious of the sound environment, including the noise level and type of music that is played. Loud noisy environments, as much as we try to ignore them, can contribute to unconscious stress and tension build-up without us even knowing it.
I just jam out with his toys the xylophone, the baby piano. I almost have Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star down.
Music To Treat Pain And Reduce Stress
While music has long been recognized as an effective form of therapy to provide an outlet for emotions, the notion of using song, sound frequencies and rhythm to treat physical ailments is a relatively new domain, says psychologist Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, who studies the neuroscience of music at McGill University in Montreal. A wealth of new studies is touting the benefits of music on mental and physical health. For example, in a meta-analysis of 400 studies, Levitin and his postgraduate research fellow, Mona Lisa Chanda, PhD, found that music improves the body’s immune system function and reduces stress. Listening to music was also found to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety before surgery .
“We’ve found compelling evidence that musical interventions can play a health-care role in settings ranging from operating rooms to family clinics,” says Levitin, author of the book “This is Your Brain on Music” . The analysis also points to just how music influences health. The researchers found that listening to and playing music increase the body’s production of the antibody immunoglobulin A and natural killer cells the cells that attack invading viruses and boost the immune system’s effectiveness. Music also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
“This is one reason why music is associated with relaxation,” Levitin says.
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