Music Can Reduce Blood Pressure
Heres the prescription: Listen to classical, Celtic or reggae music 30 minutes a day to lower your blood pressure. According to the American Society of Hypertension, research shows this simple prescription might significantly reduce high blood pressure.
In a report from Dr. Peter Sleight at the University of Oxford, research has shown music can alleviate stress, improve athletic performance, improve movement in neurologically impaired patients with stroke or Parkinsons disease, and even boost milk production in cattle.
Dont throw away your medication yet, but music is certainly an easier pill to take.
You Disagree With What Is Being Said
This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listenerhearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. Youre eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your truth, others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.
Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.
When To Use Music To Help
Music is said to enhance intelligence and focus, improve mental health, and boost the immune system as well as self-esteem and confidence. It can be used to relax, to boost and lift our mood, or to improve concentration. Music can also be used to aid in insomnia, helping to encourage and induce a deeper sleep. Many people have expressed how music is a form of escape, and can quickly and effectively transport them to a better time, place, or memory. Here are six benefits that music therapy can have on your mental health:
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Music Can Improve Cognitive Performance
Research suggests that background music, or music that is played while the listener is primarily focused on another activity, can improve performance on cognitive tasks in older adults. One study found that playing more upbeat music led to improvements in processing speed, while both upbeat and downbeat music led to benefits in memory.
So the next time you are working on a task, consider turning on a little music in the background if you are looking for a boost in your mental performance. Consider choosing instrumental tracks rather than those with complex lyrics, which might end up being more distracting.
How Does Music Help With Depression
It seems as though people live for music.
On the molecular level, listening to music improves mental well-being and physical health. However, the benefits go far beyond the present moment in that it influences the outcome of our hormones as well as cognitive functioning. It is also believed that people who play instruments are smarter.
Here are 10 benefits of music for depression:
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The History Of Music Therapy
From the earliest days of civilization, music has been used to heal the body and soul, and to express what is difficult to articulate in words. The ancient Greek philosophers used music for therapeutic purposes. Manic patients were coached to listen to calming melodies of the flute, and persons with depression were instructed to listen to dulcimer hymns. Healing shrines housed musicians along with physicians. In fact, the music of Thales was said to cure persons affected by a plague in Sparta around 600 B.C.
Modern music therapy originated in the 1940s after World War II. Thousands of soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder were institutionalized, unable to function in society. Community musicians began to visit veteran hospitals to play for those suffering from physical and emotional trauma. Nurses and doctors noted the positive physical and emotional responsehow the hymns and melodies reached patients in ways that traditional therapies were unable to and began to hire musicians for the hospitals.
What You Eat And Drink Can Also Affect How You Feel
Theres no magic diet that will treat depression. But what you put into your body can have a real and significant impact on the way you feel.
Eating a diet rich in lean meats, vegetables, and grains may be a great place to start. Try to limit stimulants like caffeine, coffee, and soda, and depressants like alcohol.
Some people also and have more energy when they avoid sugar, preservatives, and processed foods.
If you have the means, consider meeting with a doctor or registered dietitian for guidance.
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You Are Doing Five Other Things While Youre Listening
It is impossible to listen to someone while youre texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the timeI know I have.
Ive actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didnt work. I had to keep asking, what did you say? I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, Ive succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but its certainly worth it.
If youre truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time. If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. Its simple as that!
How Music Therapy Works
Music therapy has also shown promise in improving function, helping to stimulate creativity, and even in improving communication between patients and caregivers.
An active session allows the patient and/or therapist to create music spontaneously. The patient is guided in sharing thoughts and feelings that come to the surface allowing insight into thoughts and behaviors. In passive therapy, individuals listen to music while in meditation or reflection. The therapist and patient can then explore the memories and emotions evoked by the music.
So why exactly does it work? Theories abound, but there are some basic fundamentals. Experiencing music in a therapeutic environment can help an individual to express themselves on a deeper level. Scientists believe that a select combination of melody, harmony, and rhythm can promote a sense of calm by slowing breathing rate, heart rate and other body functions. Combined with talk therapy, music can help to boost levels of our “feel good” hormones, thereby stimulating freedom of expression and clarity of thought. In fact, review of nine studies involving more than 400 participants found that music therapy was effective in “decreasing anxiety levels and improving functioning of depressed individuals.”
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Start Practicing Music Therapy
So, you decide to try music to get help with your depression. Awesome!
It is preferable that you do this at home or somewhere where you feel safe and it is quiet. You need to practice it in a safe environment with as few distractions as possible. You dont want people or things disturbing your healing. You can do this any time of the day or night, whenever you feel the need to listen to music for yourself.
Sit somewhere comfortably, you can get something to eat or drink if you want. Wear comfortable clothing and sit the way you like. Make sure that the lighting of the room doesnt distract you. You might also want to turn off your phone. You can either listen to music out loud or put headphones on. Whatever makes you feel more comfortable.
Music Might Prevent Suicide
The sound of music is incredibly powerful. It can even prevent suicide.
IN 1997, DMC aka Darrell McDaniels, of Run DMC, was at the top of the charts. While touring he fell into a negative downward spiral, thinking Is this all there is?
He was serious. At that moment, he made a decision to commit suicide when he got home.
Staring at the walls in a cold hotel room, Sarah McLachlans song Angel came on the radio. You know its power. It makes you cry and want to run out and adopt one of those sad animals in the SPCA commercial.
Its hard to believe, but that song changed his suicide plan. He became a huge fan of Sarah McLachlan. Soon after, he found out he was adopted, which gave his life new meaning.
After DMC trashed his suicide plan, he made a new plan to use his music and fame to decided to promote adoption and help foster kids. He even made a documentary to promote his worthy cause.
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Can Music Help With Depression
This post contains affiliate links for which I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase.
Today, I am asking the question Can music help with depression? because Ive struggled with depression my whole life. You see, Ive mentioned this in other posts, but the reason for my depression was because I never really believed in myself. Usually, I let my self-esteem and identity be determined by things that are external to who I really am. Instead of being based on Gods Word, my identity was determined by others, how I looked or if I succeeded at something and the like.
Music Therapy Vs Sound Therapy
Music therapy and sound therapy are distinctive, and each approach has its own goals, protocols, tools, and settings:
- Music therapy is a relatively new discipline, while sound therapy is based on ancient Tibetan cultural practices.
- Sound therapy uses tools to achieve specific sound frequencies, while music therapy focuses on addressing symptoms like stress and pain.
- The training and certifications that exist for sound therapy are not as standardized as those for music therapists.
- Music therapists often work in hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, or private practices, while sound therapists may offer their service as a component of complementary or alternative medicine.
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Music May Help You Sleep Better
Insomnia is a serious problem that affects people of all age groups. While there are many approaches to treating this problem, research has demonstrated that listening to relaxing classical music can be a safe, effective, and affordable remedy.
In a study looking at college students, participants listened to classical music, an audiobook, or nothing at all at bedtime for three weeks. Researchers assessed sleep quality both before and after the intervention.
The study found that participants who had listened to music had significantly better sleep quality than those who had listened to the audiobook or received no intervention.
Adverse Events And Reasons For Drop
Adverse events were rare, transient, and mostly unrelated to the trial interventions. Two participants experienced a worsening of problems following a change in their medication. One had to stop therapy due to a pre-existing comorbid condition which necessitated surgery and subsequent recovery time. One stopped therapy because a therapeutic alliance could not be established. Finally, two participants stopped therapy due to scheduling issues.
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Music Therapy: Learn How Playing Music Can Help Depression
Research continues to support the knowledge that playing music is beneficial to your brain. Over the last few decades, enhanced medical technology has enabled scientists to study the positive stimulation that only music can provide on cognitive processes. The results of these studies have confirmed that music therapy, especially in the form of learning to play an instrument, has the ability to reduce the symptoms and development of dimension, help overcome the challenges of a learning disability, and increase academic performance in students.
Moreover, these proven results have spurred research extensions within the medical community, and new applications are being tested and reported concerning musics ability to heal the body. Within the last few years, more studies have shown the beneficial connection between playing music and physical health, especially regarding stress-related ailments like pain and depression. Both a recent editorial by the British Journal of Psychiatry and an article in the American Physiological Association examine this recent attention and explore just why music is so effective for relieving depression.
Learning to play music with a music therapist, involves activity. This type of active participation, when combined with the specific brain responses that learning to play an instrument invoke, provides the stimulus that generates healing.
Strategies For Music Choice
Our analysis suggested that the strategies participants described for using music to manage negative moods fell into two broad categories: selecting music that differed from the negative mood in an effort to shift a negative mood, and selecting music that mirrored the negative mood in an effort to cope with negative feelings. These strategies are depicted in following the model of
Phases of awareness and their influence on music listening strategies.
Music That Differed From Current Mood
Music That Mirrored Current Mood
The other prevalent theme we perceived across most participants was the use of music to mirror mood in an attempt to cope with feelings of sadness and depression. While the term cope can cover a wide range of strategies for dealing with undesirable situations and affective states including problem-solving and attempting to change ones mood, in the context of this data the term is used to describe strategies designed to mitigate or lessen the intensity or unpleasantness of an undesirable mood without actually shifting its valence. Different participants described selecting music that mirrored their current mood in relation to a diverse range of intentions or aims, and outcomes. However, our interpretation was that these strategies often appeared to be designed to help participants cope with affective states, rather than to change them.
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How To Get Started
If youd like to explore music therapy, talk to your doctor or therapist. They can connect you with practitioners in your community. The American Music Therapy Association also maintains a database of board-certified, credentialed professionals that you can use to find a practicing music therapist in your area.
Depending on your goals, a typical music therapy session lasts between 30 and 50 minutes. Much like you would plan sessions with a psychotherapist, you may choose to have a set schedule for music therapysay, once a weekor you may choose to work with a music therapist on a more casual “as-needed” basis.
Before your first session, you may want to talk things over with your music therapist so you know what to expect and can check in with your primary care physician if needed.
Can Sad Music Help With Depression
You might be asking, why would someone who is struggling with depression want to listen to sad music? Most of us would suggest listening to something upbeat and cheerful! Its not exactly the first thing we recommend when our friends are feeling down. But theres actually some science behind this suggestion. And its related to that same feeling some people get when they go to a support group, or listen to others talk about their own depression. Its a reminder that youre not alone. There are others out there with similar or worse struggles. Sometimes knowing that were not the only one dealing with these overwhelming thoughts, fears, anxieties and struggles can help us feel better.
Theres an actual term for this concept of feeling better about ourselves knowing someone else out there has it worse. Its called downward social comparison. Songs are used by artists to convey their emotions and talk about their struggles. Listen to Patsy Cline or The Smiths. Feel like you can relate to their emotions sometimes? Just hearing someone else sing about the same problems you have makes it easier to cope. Someone else out there shares your struggles. There are times many of us feel like no one could possibly understand what were going through. Music can be a useful tool for struggles like this.
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Or Spend Time With Loved Ones
Depression can tempt you to isolate yourself and withdraw from your friends and family, but face-to-face time can help wash away those tendencies.
If youre unable to spend time together in person, phone calls or video chats can also be helpful.
Try to remind yourself these people care about you. Resist the temptation to feel like youre a burden. You need the interaction and they likely do, too.
When you do the same thing day after day, you use the same parts of your brain. You can challenge your neurons and alter your brain chemistry by doing something entirely different.
Research also shows doing new things can improve your overall well-being and strengthen your social relationships.
To reap these benefits, consider trying a new sport, taking a creative class, or learning a new cooking technique.
Knock out a few birds with one stone spending time with other people and doing something new by volunteering and giving your time to someone or something else.
You may be used to receiving help from friends, but reaching out and providing help may actually improve your mental health more.
Bonus: People who volunteer experience physical benefits, too. This includes a reduced risk of hypertension.
When you do something you love, or even when you find a new activity you enjoy, you may be able to boost your mental health more by taking time to be thankful for it.
Research shows gratitude can have lasting positive effects on your overall mental health.