Music is a powerful tool and by listening to music, our brain triggers particular emotions, memories, and thoughts, which often leads to positive effects on mental health.
Over time, music has played an important role when it comes to our ability to cope with life’s greatest highs and lows. It helps to combat depression and anxiety, along with a host of other mental health issues.
Music plays a large impact on mental health through music therapy, which is an evidence-based therapy that uses musical interventions to help improve people’s mental health and overall quality of life.
However, there are various techniques of music and they include singing or chanting, playing musical instruments, dancing to music, songwriting, and relaxing and meditating to music.
Here are ways music has affected your mental health and they include:
Improves cognitive performance
Listening to music and focusing on other tasks can improve your cognitive performance, especially among elderly people. On the other hand, playing more music leads to improved processing speed, so if you are working on a task, consider turning on a bit of music in the background if you want a boost in your mental health.
Music reduces stress
Music aids in the reduction or management of stress. Contemplative music designed to reduce stress has a way of calming the mind and inducing relaxation. Music influences the human stress response, particularly the autonomic nervous system. Following a stressful event, those who had listened to music recovered more rapidly. The human stress hormone is cortisol, and the higher it is, the more stressed we become.
Music improves motivation
Because there is a relationship between auditory neurons and motor neurons, music boosts activation. As a result, music frequently makes us more mobile and inspires us to move, this physical exercise stimulates brain activity as the music increases productivity and motivation.
Working out with music enhances your mood, helps your body workout more efficiently and reduces your perception of exertion. It also allows you to work out for more extended periods. Athletes who listen to high-intensity, quick music during warm-ups perform better competitively in clinical situations.
It reduces pain and anxiety
Music helps reduce pain by triggering emotional responses, engaging cognitive attention, and activating sensory pathways that compete with pain pathways in the brain. Because the music competes with the brain‘s pain pathways, it assists the brain to shift attention away from the pain.
To process anger or negative emotion
Music is an incredible vehicle to help us process negative emotions. Listening to ‘angry’ music can be therapeutic when we are dealing with stress and anger.
Music can improve your mood
Music affects and influences our mood and helps us digest our emotions. Playing and listening to uplifting songs has a profound effect on the brain and stimulates it to increase feel-good hormones, which boost our mood. It may also reduce the synthesis of stress-inducing hormones in the body.
It helps reduce the symptoms of depression
Listening to music that you appreciate increases the release of pleasure-inducing chemicals like norepinephrine and melatonin in the brain. It may also reduce the synthesis of stress-inducing hormones in the body. Also listening to nostalgic music might exacerbate depressive symptoms, especially if you tend to ruminate or withdraw socially.
However, music therapy is an evidence-based treatment for several illnesses, including heart disease, depression, autism, substance misuse, and Alzheimer’s. It is a safe and low-risk way to lessen anxiety and depression in people suffering from various neurological conditions.
Conclusively, Music has not only improved mental health but also has enhanced intelligence and focus, boosting the immune system as well as self-esteem and confidence. Music encourages and induces a deeper sleep as well.
People have expressed how music is a form of ‘escape’ and can quickly transport them to a better time, place, or memory.Featured Image Source: UCHealth
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