You may like to listen to music for entertainment, but did you know it can be used as a tool? While playing your favorite tunes is common at a party, in the car, or while cleaning up, there are actually a plethora of other benefits that can be felt just by turning up the right jams. Discover more about what music does inside your body and brain and how you can use it to your advantage in your everyday life.
Music You Like Causes Dopamine Release
Dopamine is a chemical in your brain that when released, gives you a happy or feel good sense about the present moment. Some people experience this chemical release taking drugs, eating certain foods, or gambling. The same chemical is also known to be released when listening to music you enjoy.
Music Can Lower Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is the stress hormone. Stress can cause a variety of issues in the quality of your daily living including high blood pressure, lower immune functioning, weight gain, cholesterol problems, heart issues, a negative impact on learning and memory, and many other concerns. By turning on music that relaxes you, you can actually prevent cortisol levels from rising, and reduce high levels.
Enhance Athletic Performance
You can improve your athletic performance if you listen to songs that inspire you while completing your activity. You can play uplifting songs while running that are either fast or slow, as long as it is what motivates you. The same goes for when you are playing any sport or hitting the weight room.
Autonomic Responses Synchronize with Music
Your autonomic response system unconsciously controls many of your bodily functions including digestion, respirations, heart rate, urination, and sexual arousal. Music synchronizes with your autonomic responses, which results in your feelings relating to the type of music you are listening to. For instance, if you are hearing a fast, heavy metal song, it is likely that your heart rate is going to increase. If you were listening to music that you hear during meditation practices, you would likely lower your pulse.
How Can You Use Music to Your Advantage?
Once you understand the effects that music has on your body and brain, you can use it to your advantage in everyday life. Here are a few ways you can use music to your advantage.
Classical Music Helps You Sleep More Sound
Those that have listened to the classic style of music have been shown to sleep better than those that had no music. Music in this form can aid in lowering problems related to sympathetic nervous system activity, high blood pressure, and anxiety. It allows you to step away from your thoughts and clear your mind for a good night’s rest. The composers that produce these effects include Italian composers, Mozart, and Bach. You should stay away from heavy metal and techno sounds which can cause the opposite effect.
Treat Depression and Anxiety
Music is known as a natural antidepressant. By listening to various styles, you can release serotonin and dopamine in the brain. These are the chemicals that your body makes that makes you feel happy and which are usually underactive in depressed individuals. By listening to music, your brain will naturally release these chemicals relaxing you and making you feel better about your overall well-being. Just 15 minutes of listening to your favorite music can improve your excitement levels, joyful feelings, and overall happiness.
Enhance Academic Performance and IQ
Studies have been completed to discover if there is any relation to students that have music training in their schedules and students that do not. There have been correlations that show that those that have had some sort of musical class have had both increases in IQ and improvement in overall academic performances versus the control students who had no musical courses. So, learning more about music apparently will make you smarter.
Every person has a different favorite song, style of music, or lyrics that they love. Listening to the songs that uplift you can help you get motivated for the day, for a big interview or any situation you could use some motivation. You can create a playlist of your motivational songs and keep it on hand for those times.
Boost Your Mood
The way one song makes you feel is going to be different than how another type of song alters your mood. Keep track of the songs that make you feel good and when you need a mood booster, go back to that playlist.
Set the Environment
When sitting down to meditate, choose nice calm and relaxing sounds to set the environment. When you are running or going through a workout routine, pick music that is going to energize you. Different songs will create a different atmosphere and that is something that you can be in control of. Set the environment for how you want to feel.
The next time you reach to turn on your favorite playlist, think about the benefits that you can receive by listening to your most loved songs. When you are struggling with learning, relaxation, or motivation, along with a long list of other inside feelings, take into consideration what you can accomplish just by hearing a few minutes of the right genre of music.