Music For Less Stress

If you’re in need of a good rest after a stressful day, look no further than some relaxing tunes.

Music has been used in therapeutic ways for hundreds of years and for good reason. Our brains seem to be built to distinguish music from noise!

Specific areas of the brain have been shown to literally be tuned into each individual quality of music—e.g. pitch, harmony, timbre, rhythm, and even emotional content.

Studies have found that music can have a range of benefits for different emotional states, illnesses and age groups:

How is it that music can have these profound physical and mental effects on our body?

Physics tells us that anything that looks solid (like the human body) actually isn’t—it’s just tightly packed atoms moving closely and quickly. So, our bodies are actually always moving, creating vibrations at different frequencies.

Scientists have even recorded the “sounds” that we emit! And, like different kinds of music, our respiratory and cardiac systems give off their own unique frequencies.

When we listen to music, it may be that the incoming vibrations interact with our own vibrations, resulting in these physiological responses.

So, can any music have any of the benefits we’ve mentioned?

No. Music with slow rhythms are best at lowering blood pressure and heart rate, while those with march-like rhythms improve how patients with Parkinson’s walk.

To unwind at the end of a long day, stick to music that has slow rhythms and soothing sounds. Meditation, yoga, nature sounds and classical music are great options.

YouTube is an easily accessed and great resource. Channels such as Meditative Mind and Soothing Relaxation offer hours of ad-free listening.

Tips for trying it at home:

Try different kinds of music. Listen to different kinds of soothing music and find what helps you relax.

Get a good pair of earphones. Some music, like binaural beats, needs both of your ears to work effectively.

Make time to listen—preferably just before bed or when you tuck yourself in. This sets you up for the right state of body and mind needed for restful sleep.

Enhance the effect with deep breathing. Focused deep breathing is known to help reduce stress. Combine this with soothing music, and you’ll be asleep in no time!

Music really is a great option to enter that sought-after stress-free zone. So put in some earphones and get some better sleep tonight!