Listening to Music Could be Good for your Health
You may like the idea of listening to music for the purpose of entertainment. But, this is not the only reason why almost everybody loves to listen to music. Music is definitely a natural medicine. Even the ancient people knew that music could be used entirely for therapeutic purposes. The ancient Aboriginal peoples of Australia used sound as a healing agents. The ancient Egyptians were also proponents of the health benefits of listening to music. As it turns out, so were the ancient Greeks.
Neuroscientists also have discovered that by listening to music, all those positive emotions are heightened. A study published by the NIH found that listening to relaxing music lowered the amount of cortisol in test subjects. The cortisol hormone indicates stress levels. Heightened stress results in heightened cortisol. Listening to music lights up significant areas of the brain. If ancient cultures knew of the health benefits of listening to music, what does modern science have to say? Here are the five ways that music helps impact our well-being and health.
5 Health Benefits of Listening to Music
Music Reduces Anxiety Levels and Stress
In just a low pitch and slow tempo of music, people can calm down even during painful and highly stressful events. Music could also further avoid increases in systolic blood pressure and heart rate. It also further decreases the cortisol levels and all other biological markers of stress. Music simply reduces the effects brought by stress. Therefore, music is more powerful that the effects brought by an anxiolytic drug.
Our findings indicate that music listening impacted the psychobiological stress system. Listening to music prior to a standardized stressor predominantly affected the autonomic nervous system (in terms of a faster recovery), and to a lesser degree the endocrine and psychological stress response. These findings may help better understand the beneficial effects of music on the human body. ~US National Library of Medicine NIH
High levels of stress are linked to many other health problems. Heart disease, stroke, and cancer are just a few of them. As a result, music can be an indirect way to help with those problems. Lowering stress is truly one of the most significant health benefits of listening to music.
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Music Helps Decrease Pain
One of the crazy health benefits of listening to music is its true and unique ability to decrease pain. A control group who listened to music experienced fewer depressive symptoms and pain reduction. In another study, patients who underwent spine surgery were told to listen to music in the evening right before the surgery. When they were asked about the pain levels, the group reported lower levels than the control group.
One good thing about music, is when it hits you, you feel no pain. ~Bob Marley
Truly, music helps reduce pain and impacts on the dopamine release. Because pain and stress are linked, the impact of music on stress reduction could partly explain said effects.
Music Helps us Attain Fitness and Exercise
Increased performance during exercise is another one of the health benefits of listening to music. There are lots of people who listen to music while they are doing fitness activities and exercises. According to research, music supports just exactly what we feel and helps us to get excited about our exercise. Runners listen to music to help boost performance and avoid boredom. I know many runners who practically refuse to go on a run without their headphones!
When people who exercise listen to music in a beat that is synchronous and fast with their movement, their bodies will use up oxygen a lot more efficiently than music played at unsynchronized and slower tempo. Have you ever run while listening to music? Do you notice that when a fast song comes on, you tend to speed up? That’s the performance boost.
Music Improves Sleep Quality
Listening to classical music can help you sleep better. A study published by the NIH pitted 94 college students suffering from insomnia against classical music. They reached the following conclusion:
Next time you can’t sleep, listen to some classical music. I bet that’s a health benefit of listening to music you weren’t expecting! Sleeping better can also help you lose weight. As a result, listening to music could actually be good for weight loss plans.
Music Helps Enhance Immune Functioning
It is possible that listening to music helps avoid certain illnesses and diseases. In one study, students were exposed to good and soothing music. And, it was then observed that they have a greater increase in the IgA as compared to other conditions. It only suggests that exposure to sound and music really helps improve innate immunity.
Music is potentially useful in enhancing immune response systems and health. But still, the findings are yet preliminary. Music truly has its promise of acting cheap and natural. And, it really does not have unwanted side effects as compared to pharmaceutical products. Because listening to music reduces stress, this could be the mechanism by which listening to music seems to improve the immune system.
Bonus! Music Helps Increase Productivity in the Workplace
Did you know that listening to music at work can help your productivity? According to a study, listening to music helped to alleviate adult attention deficit disorder (ADD). ADD is one of the most common causes of lost productivity in the workplace. The right music at the workplace can help improve focus and therefore, productivity. Music can also help drown out other distractions.
Definitely, music has its capacity of lifting spirits and capturing attention. Music helps with regulating and changing mood, generating emotion, evoking memories and reducing inhibitions. Music is also an aid to relaxation and leisure! Listen to music regularly, for your health as well as your enjoyment.