For sports fans Summer is quite boring, since they have to wait until September or October for America’s line NFL season, NBA league and European soccer to start over. However, Summer also means that music festivals are finally here and that means lovely and pleasant times with our friends.
Enjoying the sun, the warm weather with a refreshing drink, as the music plays in the background: the dream afternoon/night for many people. But is it only this combination that makes us feel so satisfied? No! Music is one of the major reasons we love festivals so much, as it uplifts our mood and happiness.
Scientifically speaking, music has a role when it comes to our bodies. The melodies work in our autonomic nervous system, responsible for controlling blood pressure and the heartbeat, as well as the limbic system. The limbic system itself controls our emotions and feelings. Consequently, all of this process will impact the human body in a positive way. Psychologically, music has its own benefits too. Happy and upbeat music boosts the mood of people, as many kinds of research concluded.
The truth is that listening to music is magical, in a way we believed already, even before looking at science to prove it. However, let’s take a closer look at how music and rhythm are beneficial to our daily lives.
Music intervention in medic methods is not new nowadays. From younger ages to older ones, doctors use music as a pain release. Once again, researchers have found that the effects of music on pain and depression are outstanding. A random group of people, assigned to music intervention, listened to music once a day for four consecutive weeks.
Compared to another controlled group, the one who listened to music experienced less pain and fewer depressive symptoms. Thinking of this subject as in our daily lives, without any research or scientific approval, how many of us take refuge in music when we are feeling a bit low mood? Many do and many feel a bit of a difference after some minutes of a good melody.
In order to understand a bit better the effects of music on us, let’s now take a look at our emotions. If we are feeling low mood, after a tough day or even a fight with someone we care, if we listen to music it relieves some of the concerns we had before. In this case scenario, music has also an important role in controlling and balancing our emotions. What if we listen to a song that makes us feel irritated? Feeling angry is also an emotion, not so good one though. Facing this reality with some actual thinking about how some songs make us feel, verifies that it escapes our control being commanded by music.
Seeing the world from a different perspective can be added to the list of significant changes that music brings to us. A research group analyzed the answer of people to facial expressions while listening to happy and sad music. Reportedly, while the happy songs were playing, individuals identified happy faces in faces that had no significant expression. While listening to sad music, the same happened, but this time with identifying sad expressions. This is the synonym that music interferes in the way you perceive the world. It stands to reason that if you listen to happy songs, you are able to create a happier and more fulfilling life.
Try it out
Listen to music every day. 30 minutes are enough and repeat this habit, at least, for ten days. You will start to feel improvements in yourself, such as better sleeping.
Work out with music on the background. This strategy distracts you from the discomfort you may feel during the exercise session.
Listen to music while you work or study. If you are one of those people who can focus while listening to music, take advantage of it. This habit can increase your brain activity and help you reach your studying/working goals.
After all of these granted benefits, go and enjoy your favorite hits.
By Ines Marinho