Music has been around for as long as mankind has been around. With instruments or even without any, music has been and continues to be an integral part of the human experience across time and cultures.
Have you ever wondered why it is so? At an individual level all, well almost all, of us know that music can touch our innermost self. It can have a profound impact on our psyche, moods and behaviour. Today there is a lot of research proving what we have always known instinctively – music can affect our well being. But the interesting part is, music can improve not just our mental health, but also our physical well being.
1. Music Makes You Happy
Just 15 minutes of listening to upbeat music or music that you like releases dopamine in your brain. This neurotransmitter is associated with feelings of happiness and joy.
2. Music Lowers Stress And Boosts Immune System
Music can actually lower the levels of cortisol – the stress hormone – in one’s body. Higher levels of cortisol have been linked with an impaired immune function. One study also showed that those who actively participate in music making like playing an instrument or singing had boosted immune systems as compared to those who only listened. Another showed that listening to music increased the levels of antibodies in the body.
3. Music Improves Sleep
Listening to soothing or classical music an hour before you sleep can improve the quality of sleep. This is especially useful for anyone troubled by insomnia or sleep disorders.
4. Music Reduces Depression And Anxiety
Certain types of music have been seen to alleviate symptoms of depression. Interestingly, classical or relaxed music had a positive impact while techno or heavy metal music played an opposite role.
5. Music Improves Verbal And Visual Skills, And Improves Brain Function
Studies have shown that exposure to music (mainly classical) at a young age stimulates the child’s brain and increases their verbal IQ and visual abilities and interpretation and comprehension of both types of inputs. Even as one ages, playing or listening to music has been compared to exercising the brain and keeping it sharp.
Apart from these there are some other researched benefits of music like decreasing pain thresholds, regulating heart rates and blood pressure, helping recovery after surgery. However even considering all these we are probably only on the cusp of finding out how much music adds to our lives, along with the obvious enjoyment it brings.
So bring out those tunes every chance you get and sing along with the music of life!