How to use music to reduce or stress levels:listening to relieve tension
There is no denying the soothing power that music has to shape our minds and give us calming energy. Music generates links to our emotions that we have never before explored, allows us to touch base with ourselves and and feel just a bit better after a stressful day. Music is a wonderful tool for stress management.
What makes music so accessible in this regard is its flexibility. You can decide which music suits you or is able to loosen an uptight mood. People deal with anger by listening to heavy metal, some others to slow, new age pieces.
Whatever the musical tastes, music has many benefits. In this article, I will highlight some of the benefits that it has, some research findings on the proven power of music and show how it can be used to alleviate stress.
What are the benefits of music?
Music has a way of telling us to relax and get our bodies to take some needed time off. It is already proven in the way people the world over listen to it. So what good can music do for us?
Music relaxes our minds and bodies
Soothing music relaxes the mind and reduces the amount of stress you feel. Relaxation music calms a person down and helps him or her connect with their inner peace. Doing so leads to improved health. It significantly reduces tension and decreases heart rates.
Music allows us to think more clearly.
Music acts as a distraction and allows us to explore our emotions. It helps us to keep our minds from wandering and hence think more clearly.
Music helps to restore order in the mind!
Ever had one of those days when you really had no idea how to get started on the many tasks you have on hand? It is a familiar scenario for all. Listening to a piece of calming music helps us to bring our minds back from chaos and restore a little order, helping us to sort the many things we have going on in our heads.
Music induces sleep
A piece of calming music can be better than medication for inducing sleep. Leaving a piece of calming music on throughout the night helps one to get the relaxing, much needed sleep that one needs.
Music releases tension.
Have you ever seen the movies where the frustrated protagonist relieves his anger by having a great shout?
Yes, singing and shouting has a way of relieving the stress and pent up tension of the day!! It is why karaoke is a source of enjoyment for many extroverts!!
Music increases productivity.
Music decreases stress and as we know, productivity is increased when stressed is reduced. You can reap rewards after listening to a piece of music.
Research findings on music
Research findings have proven that music has many therapeutic benefits.
Music enhances the development of children with developmental delay
A study by D Aldrige, G Gustroff and L Neugebauer (1995) showed that children with developmental delay improved greatly with the introduction of music. It had positive effects on their interpersonal relationships,highlighting the benefits of active listening. They also experienced a continuing improvement in hearing and speech and the skill of hand to eye coordination.
In addition, it also brought about order and security to these disadvantaged children.
Listening to music reduces anxiety.
K Allen et al (2001) conducted a study on patients about to undergo surgery, with the objective of assessing if selected music reduces the level of surgical stress. An experimental group of elderly patients was given music to listen to viz headphones while a control group was left status quo.
The results that the experimental group experienced lower blood pressure before surgery as compared to the members of the control group, and a lowered perception of stress and pain.
Listening to music lowers depression.
Hanser S. B. (1994) in a study of the effects of music on the mindset of older adults reported that music can significantly lower depression.
In his study, 3 groups of elderly patients suffering from various states of depression were put into 3 groups. One group received regular visits from a music therapist, one received therapist intervention through phone calls and the third was a control group with no intervention at all.
The groups which had musical intervention proved to do better on standard tests for depression.
Music can reduce stress and burnout.
In a study by Bittmann BB (2004) 75 nursing students from the nursing college of Maryland participated in 6 sessions of group drumming dynamics. Their mood states were assessed with 2 separate inventories and the test scores noted.
Significant reductions in burnout were noted.
How to use music to reduce stress
Choose your music wisely
Calm, relaxing music is definitely a better choice than heavy metal or rap, though different cuts make different strokes and heavy metal works very well to help some
resolve anger issues.
Your brain does need the stimulation, preferably gentle and quiet to lower stress levels. Opt for specialized relaxation soundtracks.
Remove all distractions.
With the relaxing music prepared, remove all distractions that typically surround your life, like the buzzing cell phone. Let your loved ones know that you need a few minutes to yourself.
Prepare for a few minutes of sleep.
Put your head on a pillow. You may even sleep in an armchair or the couch. Darken the room and turn on the soundtrack quietly.
Think happy thoughts.
A lot has been said about the law of attraction and positive thinking. It does work! Think happy thoughts and let the music help to bring them in.
Practice deep breathing.
Take deep breaths and picture yourself letting your body get rid of negative thoughts and stress.
Let yourself drift into sleep.
This relaxing track can be left throughout the night. Let the music take you to a state of deep, stress free sleep.
What is some good relaxation music?
We have seen that music can have a profound effect on reducing stress levels.What are some suggested pieces for relaxation?
Silk Road Kitaro
Best of Silk Road from Kitaro
This track is good for yoga practice. Kitaro’s album has a mix of energizing, soothing music that is perfect for stress relief.
Yiruma River Flows in You
The River Flows In You by Yiruma
Yiruma, another master of the piano, has produced several tracks that have the power to relieve your body of tension. The River Flows in You is a perfect example, with its haunting piano riffs.
In My Time Yanni
In My Time by Yanni
The songs on this track are beautifully played on the piano with no backup vocals. By far, one of the most relaxing pieces of music.
Monkey Business by the Black Eyed Peas
Monkey Business by the Black Eyed Peas.
Now, before you say, “hey, that’s not typical relaxation music,” hold the thought. There are many folks out there who relax by releasing pent up energy with a little heavy metal and hip hop. Feel the tension leave the body with the help of Will I Am and Fergie.
Songs About Jane Maroon Five
Songs about Jane by Maroon 5
The husky, nasal quality of Adam Levine’s voice has a way of helping one to forget one’s troubles. This is a musically well put together list of songs. The background music in each track can be listened to while cooking dinner or even writing!
Vivaldi Four Seasons
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
A list of relaxing music cannot be created without mentioning Vivaldi’s creations. Studies also show that listening to classical music causes people to eat less, savor their food more and digest it more easily!
A day without rain Enya
A day without rain, by Enya
New age music has a way of lending a little calm to an edgy day. Let Enya’s ethereal voice and the gentle orchestration of this music calm and soothe you.
Pachabel Canon in D
Pachabel’s Canon in D
One of my favorite classical pieces, the Canon is not only a good wedding track but has a melodious, calming feel. Listen to this over a cup of coffee!
Music indeed has a great way of soothing and being a balm for angry and hurt minds. Here, I would like to thank the writers who answered the question What music do you like to listen to when you are stressed? Do pay a visit to each of these fine writers.
The answers to the question prove that a flexible range of music does serve to reduce stress levels. Whatever the choice is, do listen to a piece of music to help you let your hair down.
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