Music’s unique link to our emotions has a relaxing effect on our minds and bodies. Classical music, especially, is known to slow heart rates and lower blood pressure. Music can also aid in meditation by helping the mind focus and avoid distraction.
This week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to listen to classical or instrumental music, particularly when you find yourself stressed, worried, or upset. If you listen to music often, switch your regular playlist for a softer sounding one.
Instrumental music proves to be a great stress releaser and helps in depression and anxiety therapies. The greatest benefit that music can provide is that it stimulates our endocrine system to release the right amount of oxytocin in our head! Music makes us happy, and happy thoughts make our defenses stronger
Here are several benefits linked to music:
1. Music encourages coordination. It can bring a form of structure at a particularly stressful time.
2. Music helps reduce stress and anxiety, especially for hospital patients before or after surgery.
3. Music helps reduce the sensation of pain.
4. Music can help relieve depression and increase self-esteem.
The American Psychological Association has a more detailed outline of all the beneficial effects music can have on the body and mind.
Listening to classical music can help the brain learn and improve memory skills. This is known as “The Mozart Effect,” a study conducted by scientists at the University of California at Irvine, which showed minor improvements in students’ test scores after listening to Mozart in contrast with either relaxation tapes or silence.
Here at Be Better, we have a few musical pieces you may want to listen to this week:
1. Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach
2. La Mer, Play of the Waves by Claude Debussy
3. Etude No. 2 by Philip Glass
4. Nocturne No. 1 by Frederic Chopin
5. Simple Song No. 3 by David Lang
Let us know how these or other classical music numbers affected your mood or emotional state this week by sharing your findings on our website.
It is common for people to avoid music when they are anxious or overly busy because it can seem a waste of time. In actuality, however, listening to music at stressful times is beneficial. Singing or humming along to a song releases tension. Playing calm, melodious music before bedtime increases relaxation and peace and is known to induce sleep.