Science confirms what people with CD and vinyl collections have known for years: listening to music can have a positive effect on your emotions and your body. Listening to music with a fast tempo can make you feel alert, energetic, and promote stronger concentration. Choosing to listen to upbeat songs in moments of low energy can give you a more optimistic and positive outlook on life. Meanwhile, music at slower tempos can help to quiet your mind and relax your body. Genres like cool jazz and easy listening can leave you feeling soothed and help release built-up stress. Music can be a tool for relaxation and stress management.
According to a 2006 study at Stanford University, listening to music at a tempo of 60 beats per minute can cause your brain to synchronize with the beat, creating positive changes in brain activity. When listened to for at least 45 minutes, calming music can have the same effects as some medications. The best thing about using music as a therapy method is its accessibility: all you need is a pair of headphones.
Getting Started on Therapeutic Listening
Many types of music can have relaxing effects. Do some exploring and find what works for you. Native American music, Celtic music, Indian stringed instruments, drums, and flutes are all examples of forms of music that can be highly effective at relaxing the mind, even at low volumes. Listening to the rain, thunder, and sounds of nature can also be relaxing; some enjoy mixing nature sounds with music, like jazz or classical.
You don’t have to play an instrument or be a music exec to know which songs you find restorative. Choose something that makes you feel good; if it starts to relax you, let it play. You can use Youtube, Soundcloud, or Spotify to explore music to calm your mind. Finding the right soothing sounds is a process of trial and error. Try not to force yourself to listen to certain relaxation music, or you risk creating tension instead of reducing it.
Incorporating Relaxing Music into Your Day
The best part about easing stress with music is that you can do it as you live your everyday life. This is perfect for people with high-stress jobs and little free time. Music can serve as a soundtrack to your life, bringing an increased amount of joy while reducing stress at work or home. You can wake yourself up with music and start your day off on a positive note. The right song can change the trajectory of your whole day. If you plan on having a busy, productive day you know will require extra energy, play some upbeat music for a mental boost.
Up-tempo music will keep you moving throughout the day and can even make you dance. If your stress comes from your commute and associated road rage, try listening to music as you drive to ease your stress. You can help put an end to road rage by playing calming jazz during your commute. Many people drive 30-60 minutes each day, and some spend ten or more hours a week on the road. If you spend an entire drive listening to classical music, you’ll be more likely to arrive at work calm and relaxed.
Using Music Around the House
Playing music in your home is so common that you might overlook its benefits. Whenever you eat meals at home, you can get creative and create a restaurant-like atmosphere of your own. You can start by playing smooth jazz music or another soothing genre while you eat. Playing music while you cook can also give you more energy to make a delicious meal. Some home-cooked meals can take a lot of time to prepare, and music will make the whole process more fun.
Music can add levity to just about any task, like cleaning or working out. Grab your big speakers on a Saturday morning and get your cleaning supplies ready! You can make a habit of regularly cleaning along to invigorating music for an organized home and a healthy mind.
Music can even help reduce stress when it comes to the task of paying your bills. Listening to music while you pay your bills can help take your mind off of the financial stress that comes from balancing your accounts. If that isn’t enough to clear your mind, you can take music to bed with you. Stress can interfere with your sleep and result in improper daily functioning. Playing music as you drift off can relax you enough to get the amount of sleep you need to succeed.
If a buildup of stress and anxiety is preventing you from getting proper sleep or being productive in your daily life, try availing yourself of the power of calming music. Whether you are driving, cooking, cleaning, or working, music can enhance the situation and allow you to be more productive. Genres like smooth jazz or classical played at slower tempos can carry you throughout the day and allow you to remain calm. Caring for your mind this way can serve as a precursor to therapy before you decide to talk to a professional. While the music itself won’t act as a cure to mental disorders or the addictions that can appear alongside them, it can help you achieve the right state of mind to get the help you need. HealthyU offers professional, compassionate resources designed to help you overcome mental illness, addiction, and other problems holding you back. Contact us at (619)-542-9542 to get help today.