Stress Relief Music: How To Reduce Anxiety
If you need stress relief, playing an instrument or listening to music is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety and find mindfulness…
Rachel Chalmers struggled with anxiety until she learned to play an instrument. Through music, she found a gateway to stress relief and mindfulness
When stress strikes, many people find relief through music. My introduction to music was the Spice Girls, whose feel-good song Wannabe blared through my mums car stereo just before my seventh birthday and instantly lifted my mood. I was soon playing the bands songs on repeat, begging my mum to let me try my hand at a musical instrument, so I could work toward my fantasy of one day sharing a stage with Victoria Beckham.
Piano teachers were scarce in our area, so I had no choice but to learn from an unsmiling one who instructed me to play cliched beginners pieces, scolded me when I struck the wrong key and punished me with extra practice on her basement piano. Somewhere in my subconscious, my passion for music still flickered and, in my early 20s, it was brought back to life.
Singing Along To Music Is Great For The Soul
If youve ever belted out your favorite song then you know how good singing along to music can be for the soul. Sometimes it just feels necessary in order to push through a more difficult time.
Singing along is a great way to release tension and make yourself feel good. When you feel good, youre more likely to relax and let go of your stress. This then helps you to deal with stressful times in a more calm and organized fashion.
More scientifically put, when you are stressed, the cortisol hormone in your body increases. As you sing along to music, the level of cortisol in your body decreases and tension is eased. Pick your favorite song, and let it all out!
Because After All Music Is The Medicine Your Nerves Really Need
Weve been quarantined and isolated at home for over 2 months now and for most of us, it has taken a toll on our mental health. Stress and anxiety are spreading faster than Covid-19, and ruining this involuntary vacation weve been given.
Its Mental Health Awareness Week and soothing our minds is the need of the hour. This weekend, lie down, shut your eyes and lower your heart rate with these calming and stress relieving Bollywood songs.
Here are 13 Songs to help you simmer down
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Create Your Own Therapeutic Playlist
When you play music as you’re cleaning the house or listen to an energetic song during your morning workout, you could be using music therapeutically without even realizing it. However, by thoughtfully creating a selection of music, you can use a playlist to combat stress, achieve relaxation, increase motivation, and evoke positive emotions.
Here is an example of a playlist that a person compiled for themselves: Go from anxious to relaxed!
Example “Anxious to Relaxed” Playlist
Krista Aistars, volunteer at the Institute for Therapy through the Arts in Chicago, created an example playlist to showcase how music can bring you from anxious to relaxed.
1. “All Shall Perish” by Wage Slaves
2. “John the Fisherman” by Primus
3. “Come As You Are” by Nirvana
4. “Sitting on Top of the World” by The Grateful Dead
5. “Big Country” by Bela Fleck, Mike Marshall and Edgar Meyer
6. “Going to California” by Led Zeppelin
7. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” by Bob Dylan
8. “Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones
9. “A Light, To Guide You” by Clem Leek
10. Acoustic guitar, yoga and meditation music
To start the process, address your current emotional state. Is it anxious, restless, or sad? How would you like to feel instead? With that goal in mind, know that it’s important to bring yourself there gradually through a progression of music that first empathizes with your current mood and then slowly delivers you to your desired emotional state.
Claire De Lune By Claude Debussy
Claire de Lune is a piece by French composer Claude Debussy from his Suite Bergamesque. The name is French for ‘moonlight’ and is perhaps one of the most famous piano pieces of the 20th century. There are many different interpretations and recordings performed by famous pianists. It’s a solo piano piece that only lasts a few minutes and employs a style that’s distinctive to composers like Debussy and Satie.
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Tum Ho Toh From Rock On
Farhan Akhtar may be a good director and actor, but he is a great singer, and Tum Ho Toh may just be the best song hes ever sung. Even the Arjun Rampal version was beautiful. This song will lower your heart rate and leave you with a strange sense of positivity and optimism, which in the current scenario is definitely needed. Add this to your playlist for sure!
Music Is A Distraction
Sometimes, you need to work through your feelings. Therapists sometimes refer to this process as sitting with your feelings. There may not be concrete work, but feeling themas opposed to distracting or stuffing them downis crucial to the healing process.
Conscious processing isnt the only way to deal with them, however. Instead, being able to feel your feelings through music is important. Thats why we tend to turn to a Taylor Swift album or an Adele single during times of heartbreak.
The music is sad, so it compounds our own feelings of sorrow or heartbreak. This provides a sense of camaraderie, but its also a distraction. Hearing how someone else processed their feelings provides an alternate view of the situation.
When youre distracted, your body is no longer in fight-or-flight mode. Instead, you have a chance to calm down, think about something else besides your breakup or toxic job, and take a time-out from your own emotional or mental issues.
Whether you choose classical music for stress and anxiety or choose to jam out to Broadway show tunes, any type of distraction can help. Music that you arent familiar with can sometimes be better since it forces your brain to tune in and pay attention.
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Music Can Provide A Distraction
Sometimes you need something to take your mind off of your stresses. Music can be a great tool for providing distractions as it absorbs attention and diverts focus.
Music can be a great addition to meditation as it helps to keep the mind from wandering and helps to provide relaxation. The choice of music will be different for all of us, as everyone is unique in how music affects them. It will also depend on the mood we’re in at the time.
Music might even be a helpful distraction to those who are anxious or are experiencing pain. Distractions can be great for taking the mind off of more difficult situations and making you feel a lot better during them.
Speaking of anxiety, click here for 9 Tips for Anxiety Relief to Help You Feel Your Best.
Beyond Music To Sounds
Just as music can impact mood and the nervous system, so can sounds of all kinds.
For example, have you ever tried to carry on a deep conversation with a friend in a busy coffee shop where baristas yell out drink orders, the espresso machine blares, patrons move screeching chairs across the floor, kids cry, and everyone around you tries to have conversations at competing volumes? It can be toughand not just because you cant hear what your friend is saying. You might notice that you feel anxiety due to the noise pollution, which is described as any unwanted or disturbing sounds.
Excessive undesired noise can lead to a host of health issues, including stress and anxiety.
Conversely, naturalistic sounds, such as the ebb and flow of the ocean tide or leaves rustling in the wind, are reported as promoting relaxation. Researchers at Brighton and Sussex Medical School did a sound study on 17 healthy adults. The participants received functional magnetic resonance imaging scans, which measure brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow, as they listened to a series of five-minute soundscapes of natural and manmade environments. The nature sounds correlated with an increase in the autonomic nervous systems parasympathetic response or rest-digest response, which helps the body relax and function in normal circumstances.
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Active Listening Tune In With Music
There is more than one way to listen to music. We can let it play in the background while we give our attention to something or someone else, or we can become actively involved in the listening process.
Active Listening engages more areas of the human brain and resonates more deeply in the cells of our bodies. This makes it a more powerful process for transforming our thoughts and emotions. Active Listening, however, requires you to give your full and undivided attention to the sonic experience.
Start by eliminating any distractions and choosing a slower piece of music with which you resonate deeply. Then close your eyes, slow down your breathing, and tune into something inside the music with which you can follow alonglike the melody or a particular instrument.
Taking a few minutes out from the computer, phone, internal mind chatter, and the worries of life to actively listen to a piece of music can serve as a great tune upto de-stress, recharge, or simply enjoy a musical journey.
I Wont Give Up Jason Mraz
Whether you are a hip hop fan or metal lover, this song will make you feel better despite its calm nature. In case, you want to help someone depressed, send them today! this song will help them to cope with depression!
I wont give up on us, even if the skies get rough. I am giving you all my love, Im still looking up.
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The Benefits Of Music: How The Science Of Music Can Help You
Did you know there are many benefits to listening to music? Crank up the tunes and blast those beats, because the results are in music is good for you.
We know the healing power of music. Bad breakup? Cue We Are Never Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift. Powering through a long run? Jam out to Eminems Lose Yourself.
Music can soothe the brokenhearted, motivate runners and kickoff the most epic dance parties, but it also has some serious scientific benefits for our health and overall wellbeing.
Listening to music has been shown to improve memory functioning, increase rate of healing, improve your workouts and more.
And now a crazy science fact:
Mellomaniac By Dj Shah
Similar to Electra and Weightless, this piece by DJ Shah utilises a regular beat that’s neither loud nor excessive. It also features some acoustic and electric instrumentation, such as a bass guitar and synthetic strings. Unlike Electra and Weightless, this piece has a more distinct structure with clearly differentiated parts, including a gentler beginning and end to the track.
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My Tennessee Mountain Home By Dolly Parton
This song by American country singer Dolly Parton is another that has prominent lyrics. Her singing is accompanied by some instrumentation, which distinctly features an acoustic guitar and harmonica. The lyrics are about memories of the singer’s home in the US state of Tennessee. My Tennessee Mountain Home is also the name of a studio album by Dolly Parton.
Happiness = Life With Music
Try one or two of the above suggestions. The key to determining what works best for you is to pay attention to how you feelbefore, during, and after listening, singing, or playing.
Note the state of your mood when you start versus after you are done. Ultimately, it will be most effective to create your own playlists of music you have discovered to be most effective at helping to improve your mood and alleviate your stress. The one thing I can guarantee you is that life feels better with music.
For more information about the power of music to transform the human spirit, check out WHYMusicSeries.com.
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Which Sounds Are The Most Relaxing
Not all music is equal when it comes to being soothing. Slow, gentle sounds do the best job of lowering our feelings of anxiety and stress. Classical, Native American, Celtic, and Indian tunes are known to help with relaxation, and the most calming instruments tend to be piano, strings, drums, and flutes.
Instrumental music is not the only type that helps the brain and body relax, though. Sounds from nature, such as thunderstorms, rain, and the sound of a bubbling brook, all help reduce stress. In a one scientific abstract found that the sound of rippling water was equally preferred and perceived as relaxing as music by participants.
Why is this?
It could be that our brains seek to connect with nature, so we intuitively find comfort in natural environments over urban ones. Does this mean relaxing music is less effective for calming than running water? That might be a personal choice. Try putting them together! Nature sounds paired with soothing music can be very powerful for relaxation.
Listening To Music Can Increase Productivity
Now, talking opposite to music as a distraction music can also be a tool for increasing productivity. Confusing, right?
The type of music is really what matters when it comes to slowing down or speeding up productivity.
Faster music can help you to feel more alert and help to increase productivity. More upbeat music can also help you to feel more optimistic and help you to better maintain a positive mind set.
When your stress levels are high, it might seem natural to try to stay away from listening to music in order to solve your stresses. But listening to music is great for reducing stress and increasing productivity, or can at least assist in helping you towards it.
You might make music a part of your everyday routine to help calm your stress, by listening to it in the car, while exercising, or while taking your morning shower. Including music as you go about your day is a great way to reduce stress or be better prepared for it when it comes your way.
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Scars To Your Beautiful Alessia Cara
Body shaming has indeed led many men and women in the world of depression. But thanks to Alessia Cara for reassuring everyone that you are strong enough and shall not give a chance to the world to point a finger at you.
You should know youre beautiful just the way you are. And you dont have to change a thing, the world can change its heart.
The Science Of Using Music To Relieve Stress
Music is powerful.
Think back on the epic-ness of experiencing your favorite bands in concert, or the nostalgia of listening to an album you revered in high school. Or stifling the urge to dance to your favorite song while shopping. Nothings quite as validating as your tunes echoing through the food court or down the baked goods aisle. Music speaks to the soul. Thats part of how music is calming and can help you relax, pump you up during a run, or even help you focus at work or school.
Thanks to science, this emotional range isnt just anecdotal. Listening to music comes with tangible benefits, including a direct correlation between music and stress relief. Understanding the chemical reactions in your brain relating to sound is key to unlocking the calming magic of music. Even if you already know how awesomely powerful music can be, now you can explain it with sound science.
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Tune Into Seek Sleepmix
Because music is such a powerful way to help reduce career anxiety, weve joined forces with leading music researcher Professor Thompson, SEEKs Resident Psychologist Sabina Read, Spotify and renowned rapper Briggs to develop SEEK Sleepmix a personalised Spotify playlist of music and career advice to help you relax, unwind and get a fresh perspective on work.
With SEEK Sleepmix, you can choose whats keeping you up at night and select up to three music preferences . Then youll be streamed a personalised playlist with music to help you relax, plus career advice to ease your worries and help you find a way forward.
When To Use Music And Sounds For Stress Relief
You can sit in stillness and do nothing but listen to or create music or sounds to relax. However, music and sounds can also serve as a soundtrack for your activities. If those activities are particularly challenging in nature or they prompt you to feel stress, music can dial back the cortisol response so you can, at least, find neutrality in the activity and, at best, increased enjoyment in what youre doing.
Here are seven occasions for which you may want to create a custom playlist:
Learn how to use meditation to help heal mind, body, and spirit with Basics of Meditation, a self-paced online course guided by Deepak Chopra. Learn More.
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