The Power of Music to Reduce Stress

Authored or posted by | Updated on | Published on March 22, 2017 | Reply
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Picture of Boy Playing Violin in NatureBy Jane Collingwood, contributing writer for PsychCentral.com

The soothing power of music is well-established. It has a unique link to our emotions, so can be an extremely effective stress management tool.

Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, especially slow, quiet classical music. This type of music can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.

As music can absorb our attention, it acts as a distraction at the same time it helps to explore emotions. This means it can be a great aid to meditation, helping to prevent the mind wandering.

Musical preference varies widely between individuals, so only you can decide what you like and what is suitable for each mood. But even if you don’t usually listen to classical music it may be worth giving it a try when selecting the most calming music.

When people are very stressed, there is a tendency to avoid actively listening to music. Perhaps it feels like a waste of time, not helping to achieve anything. But as we know, productivity increases when stress is reduced, so this is another area where you can gain vast rewards. It just takes a small effort to begin with.

To incorporate music into a busy life, try playing CDs in the car, or put the radio on when in the bath or shower. Take portable music with you when walking the dog, or put the stereo on instead of the TV.

Singing (or shouting) along can also be a great release of tension, and karaoke is very enjoyable for some extroverts! Calming music before bedtime promotes peace and relaxation and helps to induce sleep.

Research on Music

Music has been used for hundreds of years to treat illnesses and restore harmony between mind and body. But recently, scientific studies have attempted to measure the potential benefits of music. They have found:

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