by Jianna Bajar
The Effect of Music on the Mind The idea that music changes a person’s mood is no surprise, considering that there is a plethora of studies that support this claim. Music is what we listen to whenever we either want to feel a certain emotion or boost the current emotion that you are feeling. It is also said that listening to music is one of the best ways to soothe stress. The soothing power of relaxing music and its close link to our emotions can be a really effective stress management tool, helping us cool down and relax. Stress managing with music is not the worst idea, considering it can be very accessible for most people, and even then, you can hear music from pretty much anywhere. You can even make it yourself by singing or playing an instrument. Because of this, it’s also believed that listening to music helps with blood pressure as well as cortisol levels. Listening to music lowers your blood pressure and your cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone, the more there is, the more stressed you are. Research shows that symphonic music can lower cortisol levels, regardless of the listeners music preferences. Whether it be rock and roll or jazz, music has an effect that helps us calm down.
Music can: ● Improve Cognitive Performance ● Reduce Stress ● Help you Eat Less ● Improve your Memory ● Help Manage Pain ● Help You Sleep Better ● Improve Motivation
If you have ever listened to any kind of music, you know your body can react in several diverse ways, such as: ● nodding your head ● tapping your feet ● snapping your fingers. The beat of the song even influences your heart rate, and when people sing together, their breathing syncs up, which produces positive emotions. Music also has a way of keeping a person upbeat and happy, which is a mood changing feature of listening to music. A 2013 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology shows that listening to upbeat music could improve moods and happiness in two weeks. Because of this, music is also considered therapeutic, helping with pain, damaging thoughts, and some chronic conditions. If you have listened to music while you are already happy, you can notice how music mixes well with your good mood and boosts the activity in your brain. The music can boost the brain’s production of the hormone dopamine. This increased dopamine production helps relieve feelings of anxiety and depression. Dopamine is what is considered the “happy chemical,” and it could function as a reward system in your brain which is basically telling you that you have done something that you enjoyed, or something that paid off which puts you in a “good mood.” It is also important to mention that music is processed directly by the amygdala, which is the part of the brain involved in mood and emotions. Apart from mood and stress, music proves to help with cognitive performance as well. Playing background music while focusing on another task can help you. A study found that upbeat music led to processing speed to improve. Both downbeat and upbeat music help with memory. However, it is best to not put on something with lyrics, as it will distract you, but anything with an instrumental track or something lo-fi will most likely help you with productivity. Music can also help with how you eat and can help with weight loss, in a way. Research suggests that music and lighting can create a more relaxed environment. Since the participants of the study were more relaxed and comfortable, they consumed their food more slowly and were more aware of when they were full. Slowly eating contributes to getting full faster, and because of this, you do not eat as much since you feel fuller. Feeling more relaxed and not rushed is what contributes to this theory, so if you are eating to slow music more times than not, your body and mind will adapt and begin to be slower, like the slow music. An additional effect of music is the effect it has on memory. There are mixed opinions on the effect on memory, because the views regarding music and memory are opposing. Some believe that music when they study improves music, but others contend that music serves as a distraction when studying. It solely depends on the type of music, and if the person in question can work with music in the first place. Everyone is different, meaning that the variables are different as well. Some people can enjoy music and have the same mental capabilities while listening, but others may not, which is why this theory cannot have a right or wrong answer, it just depends on you. Apart from that though, music does have the ability to help with performance and physical endurance. Listening to music when doing physical activity aids in performance. Scientists have found that the addition of a strong rhythmic beat inspires people to pick up the pace. Many people that work out with music, and by popular opinion, music helps with getting things done and helps you keep going. Music is an effective way to boost yourself and others, and it could be used for many benefitting things when it comes to the human mind and body. Music has many proven benefits mentally, physically, and emotionally. Whenever you are feeling down, unmotivated, or even just want a mood boost, turn on your favorite song. You won’t regret it. More about the effect of music to our mind:
“How Does Music Affect Your Mood?" “How Does Music Affect Your Mood and Emotions.” “10 Surprising Psychological Benefits of Music.” “The Effects of Different Types of Music on Mood, Tension, and Mental Clarity.” “How Does Music Affect Your Mood and Reduce Stress.”