We've all known how relaxing it is to lean on our favourite songs at the end of a stressful day to release all the collected stress. But what we do not notice is just how deeply music is connected to our mental and emotional well-being.
It is important to understand the relation between music and the health of our minds so as to give proper attention to our engagement with music and its use in taking care of ourselves. There are many ways in which music helps us improve and maintain our mental health.
Reduces Stress Listening to songs, instrumental music or even the rhythmic sound of white noise is a great way to calm your mind and minimize its worries. A 2013 study has suggested that music leads to better stress response by the mind, and especially by the autonomic nervous system. These phenomena have led to an increase in the production of music centred around meditative purposes.
Improves Memory There's a reason why a lot of students prefer to listen to music while studying. Researchers from the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behavior and Development, Australia, have shown that our mind works on a higher capacity when there's music soothing our ears. Music also provides a positive environment that helps in finding interest in the material being studied. It has also been shown that people who train in music tend to have better cognitive ability and attention. These factors lead to a much healthier mind and a better relationship with it.
Elevates Motivation Playing music when one seems to be having a slow day, or when you need high energy for a workout is a great way to push our mind and body to work at their full potential. A great result is that we're able to get a lot of our work done through this increased motivation and that itself makes us feel much more positive towards ourselves. Mindfulness is often achieved through soft music and upbeat music gets our bodies going, both being great for achieving a better outlook towards our lives.
Reduces Anxiety and Depression A very common suggestion by therapists and psychiatrists to ground and distract our mind is to listen to any music of our choice. Some choose to take a nap with slow songs playing while others just need a headbanging session to blaring music. A recent study by Mindlab International has brought out the fact that instrumental or classical music has the capacity to reduce anxiety by up to 45 percent. Isn't it great to have such a cool solution to bearing mind-numbing noises in our heads all day or night, and to be able to get a good sleep?
Increases Creativity One of the most positive impacts of music on our mind, other than its calming and relaxing effects, is that it enables us to think creatively and to let out our stress in constructive ways. There must be a reason why Bach was able to deal with himself and his life so creatively despite the serious issues with his vision. Many people find it extremely useful to engage in music, be it singing or playing an instrument like a piano, violin, guitar or drums, to channelize their creativity and do complete their endeavors in life.
The comfort we get from music is apparent even from a simple act of exchanging playlists with our friends and finding peace in listening to each other's favourite music. We attract peace and relaxation, and a feeling of being home when we go back to our beloved songs. This is why music is also becoming an important part of therapy and meditation in recent times. We can always rely on music to give us relief, even if for a little while, from thoughts and worries about our changing lives.
Prism School of Music, Gurgaon, is a place where we believe in facilitating healing through music. Our biggest aim through our music courses, be it vocals or playing various instruments, is to help the participants be mindful of their thoughts, and to find peace in their art. Mental health and well-being is our highest priority while training and learning from each other– in order to create the best possible space for all of us to learn and grow.
1. WHO "Link Between Arts And Health"
2. American Psychological Association "Music as a Medicine" https://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/11/music