Do you like music? Do you listen to the radio? Do you listen to music online? Maybe you play an instrument. Either way, this article has some great insights into how music can keep you healthy.
Two things that I advocate on this blog more than almost anything else are: walking and music. I believe that both activities have tremendous power to help us stay healthy. I’ve been doing both since I was very young.
As A Kid, I Listened To Pop Radio
I used to tune in every week to hear Casey Kasem count down the American Top 40. Later, when I was a child victim of an extreme religious cult, I’d use songs to help withstand the abuse and boredom that came with 12-14 hour days of doing menial physical labor. Finally, as an older teen, I began to play drums and guitar and write songs. For me, songwriting has worked as a great form of therapy.
Music Can Keep You Healthy
- Music can reduce stress and anxiety: When we get stressed out, it has a direct connection to our physical health. Stress decreases immune efficiency. Rhythm and melody can relieve stress. Whether you listen to heavy metal to let go of frustration, or chant to relax, it plays an important role in helping us deal with stress. So go ahead and turn it up!
- Music can be emotionally therapeutic: Sometimes we need to have a good cry. Listening to certain songs can help release pent-up emotions. Emotional cleansing is beneficial to your overall health. As a songwriter, you can get the added benefit of using lyric and melody to express your innermost feelings. That’s good stuff.
- Music can decrease pain: Studies have found that losing yourself in music can actually help you to forget about physical pain. This is especially true for those who have higher anxiety levels concerning pain. “But don’t just zone out to the beat if you’re in acute pain: The key to using music to reduce this type of pain is active listening. ‘Study participants listened to specific melodies that they knew well and identified deviations in the songs, such as a jump in pitch or octave,’ says lead study author David Bradshaw, Ph.D., of the Pain Research Center at the University of Utah.”
- Music helps us stay active: Take a look around next time you go to the park or the gym to exercise. Nearly everyone has a phone or an iPod with earphones. That’s because songs can lift our mood and help to motivate and energize us. Musicians also stay active when they play. So whether you just listen or play, music does its part to keep you active.
- Music can make you smarter: Scientists call this the Mozart Effect and it’s particularly true with classical music.
Benefits Of Listening To Classical Music
- Improves test scores
- Cuts learning time
- Calms hyperactive children and adults
- Reduces errors
- Improves creativity and clarity
- Heals the body faster
- Integrates both sides of the brain for more efficient learning
- Raises IQ scores 9 points (research done at University of California, Irvine)
So what’s all this have to do with simple living? It’s simple. Good health is an important part of simple living. Life gets more complicated when our health is poor. Anything we can do for better health can lead to a simpler life.
So if you need a little relaxation, emotional therapy, or extra energy, try your favorite song. You’ll have better health and you can sing as loud as you want.
For more great articles on simple living and healthy habits, be sure to check out the Hip Diggs’ archives.