Music and our Minds

Music has a way of healing and signaling the brain. Music is incredibly powerful when you are trying to lift yourself up. It is a tool that can be used to help retrieve memories, relieve stress, learn more, and focus more. There are so many unusual ways this occurs and in this article, you will learn just about every way music interacts with our brains.

The affect that music has on stress is a surprising one. Sure, we have all heard the advice to just listen to our favorite song when were upset, but there is much more happening there then we know of. Music helps all type of anxiety, from stress to social anxiety. Music therapy is an unconventional approach, but it is heaven sent for those suffering with anxiety and depression and want to try something new. Stress comes from our blood pressure going up and the adrenal gland produce cortisol which is the “stress hormone.” Music lowers the levels of cortisol and lowers our heart rate. When we listen to music our body releases endorphins, which are the hormones that make us feel happy. An interesting study done about employees having a thirty-minute break to listen to music showed that it prevented burnout. It decreased stress and emotional exhaustion that can happen in stressful jobs.

Music can actually make you more intelligent. Learning an instrument or singing makes you put different parts of your brain together to create a multifaceted sound. It turns on every part of your brain and makes it work at the same time and this work is good for your brain in the long run. Learning an instrument improves memory which is a skill that will help you in every aspect of your life, especially academics. Studies show that music classes help younger children read better, behave better, and do better in school. Early training in music can increase plasticity which will help your brain be sharper for longer.

Listening to new music can stimulate your brain and make you more prone to creating new things. It helps you think creatively. The unfamiliarity of the song and the lyrics takes your brain to a different place, and this can help you keep your brain sharp.  The type of music depends on your personal preference and background. That is why people enjoy music from their childhood more. One kind of music can be very distracting to one person but be perfect for focusing for another. The action of singing along and/or dancing will give your brain exercise to do, and it can help make your thinking clearer. This exercise is what strengthens the brain against diseases like Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is defined as mental deterioration due to degeneration of the brain. It is a devasting disease for the person suffering from it and the people around them. Your brain not functioning as it used to is terrifying because it affects your thoughts and your actions subconsciously. Music can help the quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s. Generally, patients suffering from that disease can become aggressive or depressed, but music has been shown to boost their mood and relieve them of those tense feelings.

Music is more than sound that fills up empty space. It is medicine for humans and can do amazing things for our mental health.