Most people enjoy listening to music to relax or get pumped for a workout, so it might not be too surprising to hear that there is evidence to suggest that music may have a demonstrable effect on stress levels and emotional regulation. These are excellent side effects to an already enjoyable activity, but there is evidence that music can also benefit your health in the long-term, making listening to music an ideal low-cost activity you can engage in to improve your wellbeing.
Studies show that listening to relaxing music when stressed out, such as classical, can help people calm down. Over the long term, it has been demonstrated that music can help to reduce cortisol levels, which is a hormone the body produces when stressed. Since stress has a documented negative effect on long-term health, it’s excellent that there is such an easily accessible remedy that can help relieve it. Music has also been shown to assist people in art therapy and reduce anxiety in seriously or chronically ill patients. There is also evidence that music may stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which results in lower blood pressure and heart rate.
Research shows that music can have many different mood regulatory functions; for example, you can use upbeat music to sustain or create a positive atmosphere or wake yourself up and feel more energized. Studies report that listening to music is an activity many people frequently use to change their emotions, generally positively. People listen to music to distract themselves from unpleasant circumstances and work through strong emotional reactions constructively. It can also help to stimulate the creation of new ideas; listening to music while working on your next creative endeavor might help you achieve the results you’re looking for.
What music people listen to varies depending on what they want to achieve, but music has its most positive effects when the listener can select it for themselves since individuals have affinities towards specific genres of music. Next time you experience a strong emotion or want to feel energized, follow the instinct to turn on your favorite music; it may just have more beneficial effects than you anticipated.
This article was originally published on michellebeltran.org.