Written by: Neetha Ann Dooy, Batch: 2019- 2022, C M S College, Kottayam, Kerala
The word in itself has a soothing effect. Just the thought of listening to our favorite tracks can brighten our crappy moods instantly. And being lost in the magic of music is equally charming, both for our mind and our body.
Music is something people universally enjoy. It even tops reading in that regard. It is common to find people avert to the idea of spending time alone with a book in hand, but it's a rarity to find someone saying 'No' to music. However varied people are, music still has something to fill everyone's playlists.
Unfortunately, many dismiss music as mere entertainment. It offers entertainment, yes, but confining music to that little box will be a monumental understatement. As many recent pieces of research shows, music has a ton of positive effects on both our mental and physical functioning. Music is like a drug, it's just that the right kind of musical drug has almost no negative side effects.
So here are 5 different reasons why you should listen to music for your own well-being:
● Music increases your Happiness
This is actually common knowledge, something which all of us have experienced at some point in our lives. 'Feeling down? Then turn on the music' seems to be an unwritten mantra.
Have you ever wondered why you feel happier while listening to your favorite tracks? Well, the science behind it is quite interesting, as revealed by recent research.
You feel happier when you listen to music as the process triggers the release of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a hormone and a neurotransmitter responsible for the feelings of happiness, joy and what we generally refer to as the 'feel-good' sensation. Listening to music also increases the production of serotonin, another major happiness hormone. Thus, music elevates our mood and consequently 'gives us a high'.
So the next time you are feeling down, tune into your favorite songs and make yourself happy.
● Music reduces your Stress
We are all living in a fast-paced world. It's a cliche, I know, but still many cliches are so as they are worn out truths. By the time many of us call it a day, we all will be heavily tired, forsaking our family and friends. Stress seems to be our constant companion.
But music plays out savior here too. As per recent research, listening to music lowers the level of the stress hormone, cortisol. Also, music helps our mind focus, without letting it wander into unwanted terrains. That's why your grumpy self disappears in the face of music.
This knowledge is especially handy in everyday stressful situations like being held in traffic, cleaning and an array of endless chores. Listening to music while driving also reduces road-rage, as per recent studies.
So all you need to jazz up your everyday routine is music. The music you enjoy.
● Music helps you reduce and manage pain
Chronic pain victimizes millions of people all over the world. And music therapy is a growing body of research focussed on reducing pain intensity levels. Music therapy has been found to decrease postoperative pain and is employed in many clinical settings.
For those who suffer from chronic pain, music serves as a powerful distraction. The less we focus on the pain, the less we feel it. Slow, relaxing music can considerably decrease the intensity of chronic pain. Experts are also of the opinion that music can trigger the release of opioids, which function as natural painkillers.
Additionally, research has shown that music blocks our body's pain pathways, considerably reducing its intensity. It can also lessen the stress and depression that chronic pain can induce. Uplifting music infuses patients with zest and positivity.
Also, music is inexpensive and safe, as compared to the traditional pain-killers. So it's only natural that music tops the list of the best painkillers out there.
● Music improves the quality of your Sleep
Most of us drift into sleep listening to the songs we like. And while it not only makes us fall asleep faster, it also enhances the quality of our sleep.
Listening to music lowers our heartbeat, reduces our blood pressure and slows down our breathing. Our whole body relaxes, helping us to sleep soundly.
Also, many studies have found that those who listened to music before bedtime, fell asleep faster, had a better quality of sleep and also woke up feeling energized. This is true for all age groups, from infants to the aged.
Studies have shown that songs with 60-80 Beats per Minute(BPM) are the best choice to summon sleep. So it's slow, soothing songs you should listen to for quality sleep. This mainly includes classical, instrumental, jazz and folk music.
So if you are ever short of a good night's sleep, tune into some soothing rhythms and drift off…
● Music Motivates you
If you have a task at hand and you feel yourself lagging behind, then fast-paced, upbeat music is your solution. Listening to fast songs can motivate us to work harder and reach the deadline on time.
This is especially helpful for anybody who indulges in physical activities like runners, people who follow a work-out regime, etc.
The physiological effects upbeat music induces here is almost the reverse of how slow music helps us sleep. Our heartbeat accelerates and respiration increases. Our muscles tense making us ready for action. Also syncing our activities to the rhythmic beats of a song helps to increase our coordination and focus.
Music stimulates you emotionally too. Studies have shown that positive lyrics help us to increase our endurance and eliminate fatigue. It makes us feel good and excites our routine tasks.
So if you ever find your concentration wavering, you now know how to get back on track.
While all of us have experienced the above-mentioned rewards at some point in our lives, it may not be necessary that we have been conscious of the benefits we are reaping. Or more correctly, why we feel the way we do when listening to music. Since now we know the why's and the how's, let's bring forth a whole new perspective regarding music. Let's relax and refresh both our body and soul with music. Let's be chained to the rhythm…