Music is a powerful tool, and many people feel innately connected to the artform. For some, it’s even saved their life, improved their mood, or at least helped them or resonated with them in a time of need. Many people testify that music helps them connect to others, bringing people together over a shared love for an artist or genre. But music’s effects go deeper than that and can affect you on a psychological level.
1. IT IS PLEASURABLE
Research has noted that we tend to derive a positive experience when we are playing music. As it turns out, the reason is that it activates the dopamine system, which floods our system with feel-good neurochemicals that can be addictive. This means that if you’re struggling with positive thinking or need to wean off an unsavory habit, then the chills you get from listening to good music may be just what you need.
2. IT IS EMOTIONALLY CONTAGIOUS
As humans, we are meant to be empathetic creatures. This allows us to ensure we can care for others’ well-being and create closer emotional bonds that were advantageous for our predecessors. This means that we often also end up being affected by music too! The emotional aspect of a piece of music or a song often activates our natural tendency for mimicry and imitation. It ends up affecting our moods and thoughts in tandem with the expressed emotions.
3. IT REDUCES ANXIETY
A study has shown that music has shown that after listening to music, patients in rehabilitation therapy for stroke found themselves less anxious. Stress management can be difficult, but you may not have to resort to more complex methods just yet if you don’t want to. A study has shown that music can help reduce any anxiety and stress you. Cortisol, a chemical released when we are stressed, has been shown to cause us all sorts of physical issues – especially in the long run. Listening to music may encourage the body to release less cortisol than normal when stressed.
4.. IT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER PHYSICALLY
We all know how important it is to keep yourself physically healthy, both for the sake of your body and your mind. Health benefits aside, regular exercise helps lower stress levels and releases happy chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. Relaxing music not only helps people keep pushing through tiring, repetitive tasks but also increases the exhaustion threshold. In other words, listening to relaxing music makes it harder for you to feel mentally and physically tired. Dancing your heart out is in and of itself a form of exercise that gets your blood pumping, and as a result, provides the cardio you otherwise wouldn’t have gotten.
5. IT AIDS PAIN MANAGEMENT
As essential as pain medications are to one’s comfort, using them may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially in the long term. If you’ve ever put on a pumping beat to keep you going when you’re already tired, then you’ll probably know this phenomenon intimately. And now, science can back up what athletes have been saying for years!
In addition to functioning as an external metronome to pace yourself with, fast and intense music helps you reach peak performance with less oxygen during your workout. Not to mention that exercising with good music also encourages longer workout sessions as well!