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.
- 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:
How Can Music Affect Your Mood And Reduce Stress
Psychreg on Music Psychology
Did you know that listening to music has both a mental and physical impact on your body? While most of us listen to music for entertainment, we should also know that it can help boost our overall well-being. From reducing stress and improving cognitive performance, to encouraging and inspiring creativity, the power of music is truly amazing. In fact, researchers at Stanford University have even claimed that music seems to be able to affect brain function to the same extent as medication in many circumstances.
Here, the experts at music licensing company PPL PRS share the benefits of music on well-being:
Why Is Listening To Music Relieve Stress
In the modern-day world, stress has become an epidemic in our life and is one of the primary reasons people cant be productive in their day to day work. But did you know that you can release the stress through the power of music?
Just turn on the tunes and blast those beats, while you watch the results coming in- listening to music is right for you.
While some people love listening to mellow tunes, some may like to fill their mind with twangs of the guitar when trying to relax. However, there are also some foot pressure points that help alleviates stress and anxiety, but music is a fantastic alternative that doesnt take time from your busy schedule, and you can use in parallel while conducting other activities.
Well discuss these pressure points and their connection with music later in this post.
As per the research at Stanford University, listening to music can change the brain functioning to a similar extent as medication. The music is a useful stress management tool that can help you get through difficult times. Music holds a strange healing power, which is not only evident in research but also some famous quotes.
I think music in itself is healing. Its an explosive expression of humanity. Its something we are all touched by. No matter what culture were from, everyone loves music. Billy Joel
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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.
How Does Music Relieve Stress
Music connects with the automatic nervous systembrain function, blood pressure, and heartbeatand the limbic system, where your feelings and emotions live.
If you feel threatened, your nervous system releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Listening to music can switch the stress response to off and help your mind and emotions recover from stress faster than they would without music.
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Music Can Provide A Distraction
Sometimes you need something to take your mind off of your stresses. Music can be a great tool for providing distractions as it absorbs attention and diverts focus.
Music can be a great addition to meditation as it helps to keep the mind from wandering and helps to provide relaxation. The choice of music will be different for all of us, as everyone is unique in how music affects them. It will also depend on the mood we’re in at the time.
Music might even be a helpful distraction to those who are anxious or are experiencing pain. Distractions can be great for taking the mind off of more difficult situations and making you feel a lot better during them.
Speaking of anxiety, click here for 9 Tips for Anxiety Relief to Help You Feel Your Best.
Order Your List To Help You Reach An Intended Mood
As noted earlier, consider your goal. Do you want to feel energetic, happy, relaxed, or optimistic after listening to your playlist? With your intended mood in mind, think of how you might organize the songs to bring you from your current emotional state to your desired. For example, if you started with an up-tempo piece of music that matched your initial state of high anxiety, find something a little slower for your next song. If you are trying to move toward a more relaxed state, select a piece of music that is slightly slower for your third song. The third piece should also have less instrumentation or vocals. The idea is to decrease the amount of stimulation in the music so that your playlist can facilitate a gradual transition while allowing you time to adjust to the music. Select songs that are at least three minutes long and make sure your playlist contains at least thirty minutes of music. You want to give your body plenty of time to experience your current emotion and adjust physiologically with the music.
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Music Therapy: Can Music Therapy Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Many people describe music as one of the most magical as well as mysterious forces, which has a significant impact on the brain, body, as well as the emotions of a person. Music has been used for a long period of time for allowing us to deal with a number of feelings that are difficult and stressful. Music has an immediate and substantial influence over all the emotions that a person has.
Read more about the healing power of sound
It can increase neurotransmitters and therefore, it had been added to various rehabilitation programs around of the world. Music therapy plays an essential role in improving motor control, as well as the emotional functions of the patients who are suffering from some diseases and disabilities.
What is music therapy?
Patients who are suffering from Parkinson’s disease to those who have schizophrenia have significantly benefited from the music therapy. The music therapy helps in decreasing various symptoms of depression and anxiety, helps in igniting creativity, improve the communication between the patients and the caregivers, and a lot more. Music therapy is normally based on enhancing the music by therapists and patients, that are done in one on one settings or conducted in a big group.
How music can affect the brain and body
Given below is a list of the ways in which music therapy affects the body as well as the brain.
Music helps to reduce depression.
Music reduces anxiety and the physical effects of stress.
Music improves healing
Tips To Use Music To Improve Your Well
Music therapists can help you find ways to use music for your mental health. This type of therapist learns how to use music-making and listening to help people understand and process their emotions. Like traditional mental health counseling, music therapy is customized to the needs of the client.
But you don’t necessarily need a therapist. You can also use music on your own to improve your mental well-being:
Listen to relaxing music. The best music for stress reduction is the kind that works for you. If youâre not sure where to start, look for music that plays at about 60 beats per minute. Researchers say that this tempo is best for encouraging the alpha brainwaves that signal a relaxed and conscious mind.
Most streaming services have meditation tracks set at this tempo. Many people also find that Celtic, Native American, and Indian string or flute music tends to have a calming effect.
Express yourself with a beat. You donât need to be a trained musician to make music. Anyone can grab a rhythm instrument like a drum or rain stick and create beats that are mournful, angry, joyful, or excited.
Try this music therapy technique: By yourself or with a few friends, get some rhythm instruments and create the sounds of a storm. Let the storm become more and less intense, raging for a while and then backing down to a calmer state. Create rhythms that express emotions youâve been feeling. If youâd like you can talk about those feelings after the improvised storm has passed.
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The Healing Power Of Vibration
At its core, music is sound, and sound is rooted in vibration. Led by Lee Bartel, PhD, a music professor at the University of Toronto, several researchers are exploring whether sound vibrations absorbed through the body can help ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia and depression. Known as vibroacoustic therapy, the intervention involves using low frequency sound similar to a low rumble to produce vibrations that are applied directly to the body. During vibroacoustic therapy, the patient lies on a mat or bed or sits in a chair embedded with speakers that transmit vibrations at specific computer-generated frequencies that can be heard and felt, says Bartel. He likens the process to sitting on a subwoofer.
The group is also examining something called thalmocortical dysrhythmia a disorientation of rhythmic brain activity involving the thalamus and the outer cortex that appears to play a role in several medical conditions including Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia and possibly even Alzheimer’s disease, says Bartel, who directs the collaboratory.
“Since the rhythmic pulses of music can drive and stabilize this disorientation, we believe that low-frequency sound might help with these conditions,” Bartel says. He is leading a study using vibroacoustic therapy with patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease. The hope is that using the therapy to restore normal communication among brain regions may allow for greater memory retrieval, he says.
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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The Power Of Music To Reduce Stress
The soothing power of music is well-established. It has a unique link to our emotions, so can be an extremely effective stress management tool.
Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, especially slow, quiet classical music. This type of music can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.
As music can absorb our attention, it acts as a distraction at the same time it helps to explore emotions. This means it can be a great aid to meditation, helping to prevent the mind wandering.
Musical preference varies widely between individuals, so only you can decide what you like and what is suitable for each mood. But even if you dont usually listen to classical music it may be worth giving it a try when selecting the most calming music.
When people are very stressed, there is a tendency to avoid actively listening to music. Perhaps it feels like a waste of time, not helping to achieve anything. But as we know, productivity increases when stress is reduced, so this is another area where you can gain vast rewards. It just takes a small effort to begin with.
To incorporate music into a busy life, try playing CDs in the car, or put the radio on when in the bath or shower. Take portable music with you when walking the dog, or put the stereo on instead of the TV.
Research on Music
New Studies Are Suggesting That Music Can Be More Powerful Than Medication
When I gave birth to my first-born, I listened to CDs of classical music in the hospital. I figured that music would help calm me and distract me from the pain.
You might use music to distract yourself from painful or stressful situations, too. Or perhaps youve listened to music while studying or working out, hoping to up your performance. Though you may sense that music helps you feel better somehow, only recently has science begun to figure out why that is.
Neuroscientists have discovered that listening to music heightens positive emotion through the reward centers of our brain, stimulating hits of dopamine that can make us feel good, or even elated. Listening to music also lights up other areas of the brainin fact, almost no brain center is left untouchedsuggesting more widespread effects and potential uses for music.
Musics neurological reach, and its historic role in healing and cultural rituals, has led researchers to consider ways music may improve our health and wellbeing. In particular, researchers have looked for applications in health-carefor example, helping patients during post-surgery recovery or improving outcomes for people with Alzheimers. In some cases, musics positive impacts on health have been more powerful than medication.
Here are five ways that music seems to impact our health and wellbeing.
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What Is Music Therapy
This is where music therapy comes in. Music therapists work with individuals of all ages to help them communicate, process difficult experiences, and improve motor or cognitive functioning. A music therapy session is an interactive music-making experience where the client uses musical instruments in either an exploratory manner or through a more personalized exercise designed by the therapist to address a specific issue. According to the American Music Therapy Association , music therapy can have profound effects, and has helped many people since it became an established profession in the 1950s.
Listening To Music Can Increase Productivity
Now, talking opposite to music as a distraction music can also be a tool for increasing productivity. Confusing, right?
The type of music is really what matters when it comes to slowing down or speeding up productivity.
Faster music can help you to feel more alert and help to increase productivity. More upbeat music can also help you to feel more optimistic and help you to better maintain a positive mind set.
When your stress levels are high, it might seem natural to try to stay away from listening to music in order to solve your stresses. But listening to music is great for reducing stress and increasing productivity, or can at least assist in helping you towards it.
You might make music a part of your everyday routine to help calm your stress, by listening to it in the car, while exercising, or while taking your morning shower. Including music as you go about your day is a great way to reduce stress or be better prepared for it when it comes your way.
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The Best Audio Equipment To Help You Relax
We feel the best way to enjoy and really benefit from the scientific effects that music has on your body is by listening to your favorite songs on high-quality, noise-cancelling headphones from Audio-Technica. Below are some of our go-to headphones, from over-ear to in-ear designs, that suit every listeners needs.
Our ATH-ANC300TW QuietPoint® Noise-Cancelling Headphones eliminate noise, giving you focus and balance. They strike an elegant chord of premium sound quality, active noise cancellation, and comfort. With QuietPoint Noise-Cancelling Headphones, you can hear everything as it as intended. And absolutely nothing else.