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10 Magical Benefits of Music
Music is so much more than just beautiful melodies, it’s actually been found to have real health benefits. It can help you deal with pain; improve your mental as well as your physical health, and so much more. Read on for our list of the top 10 ways music can improve your life.
1. Increase Your Pain Threshold
Music has been shown to have tremendous effects in the area of pain management, whether it’s chronic pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and back problems, as well as pain that develops during and after medical procedures. One very specific research study found that music played during an operation decreased pain levels after the surgery and music played postoperatively helped the patient to feel less anxiety and pain, as well as a decrease in morphine use.
Music can distract us as it helps to naturally slow our breathing and heart rates. More studies show that music can speed healing by encouraging the boy to release those feel good hormones, endorphins.
2. Help You Eat Less
One study showed that by dimming the lights in a room and playing soft music during mealtimes actually caused people to slow down while eating, and thereby, consume less food.
Perhaps by slowing down the subjects were more in tune with their bodies and became aware of their fullness cues. Find out why you can’t lose weight.
3. Stimulates the Left Brain
The left side of our brain is said to be where reason, logic, and organization is stored, while the right side is said to control our creativity. The University of Liverpool did a study that showed that musical training increased the flow of blood to the left side of our brain.
So perhaps by learning an instrument, any instrument, we can improve our logical side.
4. Induces a Meditative State of Mind
Listening to slow music can actually alter the speed of your brainwaves, making your brainwave activity almost identical to someone who is meditating or in a state of hypnosis.
Research studies suggest that using music to prompt people into these states can have a very beneficial effects, especially for those who suffer from PMS, and migraine headaches.
5. Improve Your Memory
Musical activity, especially when done early in life, slows the decline of the brain as we age, or so says one study. In 2011, researchers used 70 people between the ages of 60 -83 and divided them into three groups. One group had no musical training, another had between 1-9 years of musical study, and the third 10 years or more.
All had similar educations and fitness; none had any evidence of Alzheimer’s. The musicians with the highest level of training had much higher scores than the other subjects when it came to cognitive tests. Playing musical instruments may keep your brain more fit as you age. See also what food will reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
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6. Motivates You to Work Out Harder
Studies have shown that playing upbeat music while biking, running, jogging, or doing other types of workout programs, made people work out harder and longer than those who did not listen to music.
Not only did playing music seem to improve their motivation, the study subjects also stated that they enjoyed the music more.
7. Heart Healthy
You may have already heard, or read about, the fact laughter is good for your heart but did you know that music has the same effect? Emotions that are stimulated by happy, upbeat music have a healthy effect on your blood vessels.
Research showed that blood vessel diameter increased a whopping 26 percent after listening to happy, energetic music. So it appears that pumping up the volume also pumps up the blood vessels!
8. Relieves Depression
When you have the blues, music can go a long way towards picking you up, most people know this, but did you know that the type of music you play matters? Classical music or meditative sounds, such as New Age music, seems to have an uplifting effect, whereas acid rock, heavy metal, and techno seem to make depression symptoms worse.
So put away that Black Sabbath CD and pull out Yanni if you want to put a smile back on your face.
9. Improves Sleep
A study done with subjects who had sleep issues found that listening to classical music before bedtime was found to reduce their sleep problems. Most likely because music can lower anxiety levels and blood pressure, as well as heart beat and respiration, it allows the body to relax while it distracts and soothes the mind. Read more about sleep deprivation.
10. Reduce Anxiety
One research study found that the effect music has on your anxiety levels is almost the same as when you get a massage. So perhaps you should give a gift to yourself by bringing along your favorite chill tunes to your next massage session.
Double the pleasure and double your relaxation level. Now that’s a tune everyone can relate to!