Amidst all the hectic work schedules and busy lifestyles, we tend to find peace of mind by indulging in activities that calm our nerves and anxiety. One of these activities that have a massive impact on brain imaging is listening to music. There are many benefits of music that you might still be unaware of. Keep reading as we tell you about the psychological response to music.
We can say this, without any doubt, that music has been the biggest saviour in today’s day and age of constant stress. Not just it lights up our moods, it also induces learning and concentration. As per research, music has been proven to reduce anxiety, depression, pain, brain aging and blood pressure among a lot of people. It improves sleep quality, increases cognitive functions, and stimulates your whole brain. So, whenever you put those pair of comfortable headphones on, your brain doesn’t only indulge in the auditory process, rather it braces itself for a total mind workout.
Music Reduces Stress and Depression: Psychological response to music
It is no secret that you turn on your favorite set of melodies whenever you want to feel relieved and relaxed. Be it running on the treadmill, or running high on love, be it in the office to avoid stress, or to celebrate promotions. We have music to the rescue for every occasion. And this has the validation of meta-analysis of over 400 studies where it has been proved that listening to music has more that one health benefit. Music helps more in lowering cortisol, which is responsible for releasing stress in our body than any drugs taken. Music impacts the mental and physical health positively as it lifts mood, hence reducing the stress, it boosts immunity and also helps in bonding socially.
You feel better with the music on as it triggers the brain’s nucleus accumbens that is responsible for releasing dopamine, the happy hormone. Not just it calms the nerves, but it also improves concentration, enhances memory and lights up the mood.
Research also shows that music helps in reducing depression by lifting up hopes and spirits of a person and taking control of their life. Motivational and melodious soundtracks aid in rewiring trauma. Listening to the music in a group or enjoying live concerts makes people insanely happy because the brain hormone oxytocin flows high which enhances the feeling of connections and bonding.
Another study showed that listening to soundtracks can lead to reducing depression by 25% and chronic pain by 21%, while the other research proved that listening to music improves depressive symptoms significantly.
How Music Enhances Cognition
We all are aware that music is all it takes to switch our mood on. It really does help in making all the problems in the world seem smaller but are you aware that music can do much more than just lifting up our moods? Let us help you with the fact that music can improve specific brain functions and can make you even smarter. Research shows that tuning in to songs has enhanced literacy skills, reasoning, and even mathematical abilities. Music has the power to amaze us in a hundred ways.
The studies show that people who listen to music more, such as music composers, musicians, have a more developed callosum, a band of nerve fibers that is responsible for connecting both sides of the brain. A more developed callosum means better control and spatial coordination.
Listening to music has favorable effects on the brain that improves episodic memory and increased processing speed. Not just listening, even playing to the tunes of any music by any instrument also stimulates certain brain functions.
Music Boosts Memory
We still get nostalgic about the decades-old soundtrack and remember all the side stories that used to go around at that time. Ever wondered how just a single soundtrack can make you memorize most of the things you don’t recognize so often? Music helps. Our brain is superficial to connect music with long term memory. Specific brain regions that are responsible for the episodic memories get activated by listening to familiar music. Hence, music has proved to improve working memory in older adults.
Even for serious mental conditions like Alzheimer’s or severe dementia, listening to music can help in recalling many things. It calms down the anxiety and enables people to concentrate on the present. Studies show that Alzheimer’s patients scored well on the memory test after they listened to the old and familiar classics of music.
Giving Your Brain A Musical Boost
Music has a massive impact on the brain and hence it is helpful in improving certain health conditions. From premature infants, or children suffering from autism, developmental and learning disabilities, ADHD, to elderly people, suffering from emotional trauma, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, acute and chronic pain, depression, Parkinson’s disease, and more, music therapy has time and again proven to aid in such cases and resulted in positive outcomes.
According to scientific studies, the brain goes through a measurable change after following music therapy, be it under the guidance of any professionals, or any online program. The benefits of music can also include helping people with cognitive, behavioral, and emotional difficulties.
Music helps us Exercise
Music has helped to pull out the most difficult task of the day – exercise. We can’t imagine a gym session without any music. This happens because music takes away all the fatigue from our brain and keeps it engaged for a longer period.
One of the research done in 1911 showed that cyclists pedaled faster if they are listening to music than they did in silence. Another study conducted in 2012 showed that the cyclists who listened to music required 7% less oxygen for the same task as those who pedaled in silence.
As the studies and research on the benefits of music will keep rolling in, let us rock and roll with our favorite soundtrack and let the music take over all our worries and concerns. Put your headphones on, or start playing some instrument, just surround yourself with the music, Repeat the best songs of the decade and let it influence you in all the right directions.