It can also reduce blood pressure, relieve pain
You’ve experienced how music can trigger your emotions taking you back in time to sweet – or bitter-sweet – memories. This is why listening to music that touches your soul can serve as a powerful stress reduction tool.
According to a variety of research published by eMedExpert.com 2011, music which appeals to you has many benefits. It:
- Can distract attention away from your stressors;
- Can increase your sense of control, which automatically reduces over-all stress;
- Is effective therapy for pain:
- Can reduce chronic pain from osteoarthritis, disc problems and rheumatoid arthritis by up to 21% and depression by up to 25% (UK Journal of Advanced Nursing, June, 2006.)
- Causes the body to release endorphins to counteract pain;
- Reduces blood pressure: People with high blood pressure can train themselves to lower their blood pressure and keep it low by playing relaxing music every morning and evening (Teng, et al., 2007.) Listening to just 30 minutes of classical, Celtic or raga (traditional south Asian) music daily can significantly reduce high blood pressure.
- Speeds Post-Stroke Recovery: Daily listening to your favorite pop melodies, classical music or jazz can speed recovery from debilitating strokes (Sarkamo, et al., Brain, March 2008.)
- Reduces intensity, frequency, and duration of chronic headaches and migraines (Oelkers, et al., April 12, 2008.)
- Motivates you to exercise and enhances athletic performance (Simpson and Karageorghis, Sports Science, Oct 2006.)
- Boosts immunity: Music that creates a positive and reflective emotional experience leads to the secretion of immune-boosting hormones (Kuhn, et al., Music Therapy, Spring, 2002.) Higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol decrease immune response; listening to or performing music can decrease it (le Roux, et al., Music Therapy, Summer, 2007.)
- Those who listen to classical and self-selected relaxing music after exposure to stressors significantly reduce their anxiety, anger – and very importantly for their health – their physiological stress arousal, and increase relaxation compared to those who sit silently or listen to heavy metal music (Labbe, et al, of the University of South Alabama.)
In other words, desirable music is healing for your well-being.
Any time you become more frenzied with life’s demands, schedule time to do nothing but listen to music. Or play it in the background as you go about your business. It’s not a time waster, but rather a Stress Break, which takes you away from your pressures, allowing your body to balance the stress hormones we know cause physical and emotional havoc.
*Article by Jacqueline Ferguson
*Music by Steven Eckels