After the horror of realizing I am getting old, I started thinking about the possible benefits of music. I like listening to music while I’m driving, cleaning house and doing dishes. I just can’t handle it loud anymore.
Listening to music is one of the few activities that uses your whole brain. It can put you in a good mood and lift your spirits. You may have very specific memories associated with certain songs. When you’re watching a movie, the soundtrack can make you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action.
You may be surprised to learn that there are many health benefits to enjoying music. Here are 12 ways music can help you live a healthier, more balanced life:
Lower your blood pressure
Listening to relaxing music may help people with high blood pressure lower it and keep it that way. To experience results, research recipients played relaxing music every morning and every evening.
Music has been found to help with pain management for both chronic pain and post-operative pain. Music therapy is being used in hospitals to reduce the need for medication during childbirth, to complement anesthesia in surgery and for lessening pain after surgery.
Improve your workout
Listening to music during exercise can give you a better workout. It may help you increase your endurance, distract you from feeling discomfort and elevate your mood while you workout.
Stress can cause your body to produce the stress-related hormone cortisol and decrease your immune response. Music, on the other hand, can create positive emotions that cause you to secrete immune-boosting hormones. Listening to music or singing can actually boost your immunity and reduce the factors that can make you more prone to getting sick.
Relieve chronic headaches
If you experience chronic headaches or migraines, music may help you reduce the frequency, severity and length of your headaches.
Enhance your IQ
Research has shown that listening to music can actually help you learn more effectively, in essence making you smarter and enhancing your overall level of intelligence.
Step up your coordination
Music may have the power to improve your coordination. It can reduce muscle tension and improve your body movement. Music may even help improve recovery after a stroke or provide relief from other movement disorders.
Improve your focus
Believe it or not, music may help you concentrate better and improve your focus. I guess I shouldn’t tell my kids to turn off the radio while they are doing their homework.
Strengthen your heart
Music is good for your heart health. It seems that upbeat, happy music can improve the flow of blood through blood vessels. It can also help you relax, which is always good for your heart.
Boost your memory
For people suffering from memory loss, listening to music may help these patients remember things associated with their past. We process music in an area of our brain that is located next to memory. That’s why a song or certain tune can trigger intense memories of an event that may have happened decades ago.
Lower your stress level
We’ve already touched on the fact that music helps relieve anxiety. Your favorite music can be soothing and helping you relax. Music is good for the mind, body and soul.
Mom singing you a lullaby can actually help you sleep. Music can even help people with chronic insomnia get a better night’s sleep. If you experience chronic pain or have recently had surgery, music can promote sedation for a more deep and restful sleep.
Is there a type of music that’s best for receiving all of these healthy benefits? It really depends on the person and the situation. You may want fast-tempo, upbeat music for exercising, and then slower-paced music to de-stress and relax. Playing old favorites can boost your mood, while playing new songs may stimulate your brain.
Music tastes are unique to each of us. Go with your instincts and listen to what makes you happy. What types of music make you feel good?