Music, Minds, and Medicine
Music, in all its varieties, is a significant part of every culture. It is a powerful tool that can uplift, motivate, bring joy, and move people to tears. But did you know that music can also have both mental and physical health benefits? Integrating music into your daily life can have a direct effect on your body’s health in more ways than one. Here are just a few ways that music can help your health and overall well-being:
- Pain Management
Music has been shown to reduce stress levels and competes for the same stimulus that pain signals use when entering the brain. This helps to reduce both actual and perceived intensity of pain.
- Heart Health
Because music can be relaxing, research has shown that listening to music helps increase blood flow, lower blood pressure, and reduce heart rate.
- Weight Management
Music has been shown to influence both food intake and workout endurance. By playing soft music in the background while eating, people actually will slow down their consumption and will ultimately eat less in one sitting. Additionally, when working out, listening to music has been shown to boost physical performance and to increase endurance during an exercise session.
- Mood Elevation
Music has been shown to increase the production of a hormone called dopamine. Increased dopamine production helps to reduce anxiety and feelings of depression and elevate mood and emotions.
- Stress Reduction
Research has shown that music triggers biochemical stress reducers which help to relieve stress. Additionally, as previously mentioned, music increases the brain’s production of dopamine which helps reduce stress and anxiety and elevate mood.
- Memory Stimulation
Because music relaxes the body, it can help to increase blood flow to the brain. This allows for improved cognition, focus, and memory. Music has been shown to not only improve memory when it comes to things like studying but has also shown benefits with certain patient populations such as those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Overall, there are many positive outcomes, both physical and mental, to listening to music on a regular basis. Even if it is just listening to music quietly in the background as you go about your daily activities, it can still have significant benefits on your health. Music is a powerful tool that when utilized can make a difference in your everyday life and your long-term health.
For more information and other ideas about how to relieve stress, contact your provider or visit our behavioral services page: https://www.communityaccessnetwork.org/behavioral-health/