Music v Stress; Five tips to Improve Your Stress Levels

Home / Music v Stress; Five tips to Improve Your Stress Levels

Why do we live for live music?

Do you start tapping your toe or moving your hips when you hear a great song? Take note next time you are walking around the shops, a good song will keep you in the store longer and also lift your mood. On the molecular level, research shows that listening to music improves our mental well-being and physical health. Enjoyment goes far beyond the present moment, as it directly influences the outcome of our hormones and cognitive functioning. While research has suggested that people who play instruments are smarter, there are also plenty of benefits for the music enthusiasts.

Five Benefits, So you de-stress and smile:

1.  Music Increases Happiness

Sure, this might seem obvious, but the natural chemical reasoning is pretty incredible to think about. If you are ever in need of an emotional boost, let it be known that it only takes 15 minutes of listening to your favorite tunes to get a natural high. This is because your brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that leads to increased feelings of happiness, excitement, and joy, when you listen to music you like.

2. Music Improves Performance in Running

For people like me that love a regular run scientists found that runners who listened to fast or slow motivational music ran faster than runners who listened to calm music (or ran without any music at all) in an 800m sprint. The key to enhancing your running performance lies in the choice of music, that being something that inspires you to propel you forward. You know that great feeling of hearing a song that gives you the spring in your step and you feel yourself making that extra effort, or incease your energy on a slow day.

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3. Music Decreases Stress While Increasing Overall Health

Music has a direct effect on our hormones. If you listen to music you enjoy, it decreases levels of the hormone cortisol in your body, counteracting the effects of chronic stress. Stress causes 60% of all illnesses and diseases, so lower levels of stress mean higher chances of overall well-being.

One study even showed that a group of people playing various percussion instruments and singing had boosted immune systems compared to the people who were passively listening; while both groups’ health was positively affected by music, the group playing instruments and/or singing had better results.

For maximum benefits on a stressful day, turn on some music and sing along. Don’t be shy to break out the air-guitar, hairbrush or deodorant can! Channeling that inner child, dancing and singing – all for your health.

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4. Music Improves Sleep

report commissioned by the Sleep Health Foundation found that 60% of Australians experience at least one sleep symptom, (eg: trouble falling or staying asleep). A study showed that listening to classical or relaxing music within an hour of going to bed significantly improves sleep, compared to listening to an audio book or doing nothing before bed. We all know that the blue light is not a sleep inducing device so, perhaps it’s time to stop scrolling and seek out some chill music to send you off to sleep. As we know music can directly influence our hormones, so it makes sense to pop on your favourite relaxing music to get that much needed good night’s sleep.

5. Music Reduces Depression

Music has a direct effect on our hormones; it can even be considered a natural antidepressant. This is because certain tunes cause the release of serotonin and dopamine (neurotransmitters) in the brain which leads to increased feelings of happiness and well-being. It also releases norepinephrine, which is a hormone that invokes feelings of euphoria.

As we are all well aware the rates of depression have increased rapidly over the past six months and depression is experienced by more than 350 million people worldwide with insomnia presenting in 90% of cases. The above research also found that symptoms of depression only decreased in the group that listened to classical or relaxing music before going to bed.

Whilst I have covered five reasons here, there are many more reasons to turn up the volume. Additional reasons to get into the vibe are:

  • Decreases in pain thresholds
  • Overall relaxation prior to and after surgery
  • Maintaining a healthy brain, improving the memory

So what tune are you going to play next? Music sure does serve as a therapy for all, whether as medicine in a hospital, heartache on a rainy day or improving your energy levels.

So, regardless of the day, time, mood, let the music play!

Don’t Worry Be Happy!

Bobby McFerrin

Are you always tired, always stressed, have an endless to do list and a scatty brain.

So take action NOW. Reach out for a Discovery Call to see how you can make improvements to your stress levels and carve out more time for you and what makes you happy.

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