Music does many things for us – a bad breakup, a road trip, or a dinner party, you name it – we’ve got songs and playlist for everything to help us set the mood and settle in the ambience.
However, music does more than just that.
Music has significant scientific benefits for our overall health and well-being. Research has found that music has a unique link to our emotions and can be an extremely effective stress management tool and anxiety relieving therapy with its relaxing effects on the mind.
Stanford University researchers even found that listening to music seems to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication.
Some types of relaxing music include:
- Sounds of nature, thunder, and rain sounds
- Celtic, Native American, Indian stringed-instruments, flutes and drums
- Classical, light jazz, and ambient music
Interestingly, HelpGuide.org, a nonprofit mental health and well-being organization encourages individuals to practice a healthy sound diet. This means that when choosing places to hold business meetings, or lunches with friends, be conscious of the sound environment, including the noise levels and the type of music being played.
Spaces with loud noises can actually contribute to unconscious stress and tension build-up without us even being aware of it.
Dana Marlowe, a technology accessibility consultant, says that making music can also release stress and relieve tension. You don’t have to be a musician to make music – all it really entails is whipping out classroom toys like a baby piano, or a xylophone, and try to make it sound like your favorite tune!
This casual music-making short-circuits your body’s stress response systems and prevents it from recurring or becoming chronic.
The bottom line is: Music helps reduce anxiety, however, music alone is not a replacement for medical therapy for people diagnosed with anxiety disorders. However, it’s definitely something that can pick you up when waves of stress and tension become more overwhelming than usual.
Read the full article by Science of People here to find out more of the scientific benefits of music.