Have you ever listened to one of your favorite songs when you weren’t in the best of moods and it seemed to somehow lift you up? Well, there is some serious scientific information to back this effect up. Our brains love to hear and process complex tones and take in all the brilliance behind our most beloved artists. While we are enjoying a musical symphony, our brain is dissecting the different instruments used, the pace of the song, and the overall tone. Each of these elements plays an extremely important role in how the music makes us feel. Furthermore, choosing the right song for just the right occasion can help to lift our emotional state right when we need it. There is something truly awe-inspiring about the magic of music that seems to heal the soul.
Music with an even tempo truly helps to mellow and focus a person’s brain waves. Particularly instrumental music with no vocals or lyrics seems to be just the thing to keep the brain focused on the task at hand. What’s more, this variety of music helps the brain to process information more quickly and much more smoothly.
This means if you are having trouble getting some work done in the office or really need to cram for a test, put on some soft, slow, instrumental music. Your brain won’t be focused on keeping up with the sounds, the tones will soothe any stray thoughts you might have going on and focus all your efforts into a singular place.
Improves sleep quality
Trading out a cell phone or TV before bed for some music might just be the ticket for those suffering some mild insomnia. Studies have shown that those who decide to listen to classical music before bed were able to fall asleep much faster than those who did not. In addition, the tests were performed on college students who were undoubtedly under a severe amount of stress. Not only did the music therapy help them fall asleep faster, but it also seemed to completely cure their case of insomnia.
Slow music with a rhythm of 50-60 beats per minute is ideal for calming the mind and priming the body for sleep. Depending on what type of sleeper you are, you may want to try listening to music through earbuds throughout your entire sleep cycle. Especially if you are having chronic insomnia attacks, keeping the music flowing can persuade the brain to fall back to sleep even if you wake up in the middle of the night. Of course, this won’t work for everyone. Namely, those who are much lighter sleepers, but if you can stand it, a very quiet melody can still help the most troubled of sleepers.
Reduces effects of depression & anxiety
Tests have proven that calming music can lower a person’s heart rate, blood pressure, and overall feelings of depression and anxiety. Ongoing music therapy is estimated to have much more long lasting effects. Those who experience a dip in stress levels while listening to music may eventually develop a subconscious defense mechanism in which they can better control their stress levels. Just like working out a muscle, continuously working towards stable mental health through therapy will systematically provide the patient with the tools necessary to heighten their mood and lower anxiety levels on their own.
However, each one of us is a unique being with different tastes. Some tunes might help one person to calm their emotions and may actually have the opposite effect on another person. Test out a few types or styles of music that you feel you might prefer before using this form of therapy in a time of crisis. After you have narrowed down an appropriate scope, try creating a playlist beforehand with your intended mood in mind. This can help you achieve maximum musical benefits.
So, the next time you need a little pick-me-up, try reaching for your favorite musical artist and see how it makes you feel. Humans have enjoyed musical sounds for hundreds of years and we feel such a deep emotional connection it. You don’t have to be a talented musician to appreciate and take advantage of all the uplifting properties music has to offer.