Keep Healthy with Music
The very real health benefits of music
Everyone knows that If you are looking to tone up your body, you head to the gym. What they may not know is that if you want to do the same for your mind, the correct destination is your music player!
The reason, scientists say, is that there are few things that stimulate the brain the way music does. Listening to music, they claim, provides the ultimate brain workout.
How does this work?
Your stereo player sends out vibrations in the form of waves that travel through the air until they reach your ear canals. Once there, they cause your eardrums to vibrate, resulting in an electrical signal that travels through the auditory nerve to the section of the brain, where it is perceived as music.
The music to brain connection
A Harvard article shows that there is a strong link between mental and physical health, and research shows that listening to music can have a very real impact on both. For example, there is substantial evidence that music can:
- reduce anxiety
- lower blood pressure
- relieve pain
- benefit sleep quality,
- lift mood
- improve mental alertness
- enhance memory.
As a result, music therapy is a major player when it comes to improving mental health, which is a massive problem in today’s highly pressurized and fast-moving society.
Ever thought of learning to play an instrument?
An interesting study showed that when adults took musical lessons, their whole quality of life was enhanced. Their ability to concentrate and their attention span improved. As a result, they found they were remembering things better and were able to solve problems more efficiently. This was in addition to the improvement in their moods. No one says you have to become a pro, but just taking a few lessons can have amazing effects, and it’s never too late to start!
The “Mozart effect”
For starters, try listening to new and different forms of music. You may not think that listening to Mozart, for example, will appeal to you, but you’ll be amazed at the results when you try.
“New” music challenges the brain in a way that old familiar music doesn’t. Even if it doesn’t feel pleasurable at first, try out different types, and pick the kind that works for you.
In an interesting experiment, standard IQ test questions were given to a few different groups of college students. They then compared the results for those who had spent 10 minutes listening to a Mozart symphony with a group that had been listening to a relaxation tape and one that had been sitting around doing nothing in particular. The group that had listened to the Mozart scored consistently higher than all the other groups.
A universal bond that links us all
No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music. The reason is not clear, but the effects are undeniable. So, consider turning on a little music in the background if you are looking for a boost in your mental and physical performance. While the medical profession may feel the need to continue dispensing anti-depressants as a first resort, maybe try music as the non-invasive, safe route to a happier life. Many are doing it with great success every day!