Relaxing music can be a powerful ally in your life. Most of us go through the day without noticing how much sounds and music in our surrounding affects us. However, it is a reality that our ears are constantly receiving information about our environment. Our ears help us become aware of danger, and they can also improve our life in general if we play the right music for them. These are some benefits you’ll find when you regularly listening to relaxing music:
1.- Increased levels of positive hormones
Several studies show that listening to soothing nature sounds and relaxing music increases the levels of serotonin and other positive hormones in the bloodstream*1. Serotonin is a hormone regarded by many experts as the “happy” neurotransmitter, providing our bodies with better mood, sleep and learning capabilities.
2.- Reduced levels of stress
Regularly listening to relaxing music can help us disconnect from everyday stress. This reduction in stress can lead to better cognitive processing and improvement in memory. Stress affects our sleep and our bodies need sleep in order to function properly. Listening to relaxing music, together with breathing or meditating right before going to bed, is a great way to disconnect from your busy day and welcome the serenity and peace of the night.
3.- Improved brain function
We’ve known for a long time that playing a musical instrument can help us achieve better spatial-temporal reasoning and communication skills. What is remarkable, is that even while simply listening to music, researchers have discovered that very similar areas of the brain light up contributing to better interconnection between both our hemispheres, which also results in dendritic growth, thus giving us faster and smoother communication within the neurons of the brain.
4.- Lower heart rate
Several studies have documented that people in waiting rooms, hospitals and other clinical environments show a decrease in heart rate when relaxing non-percussive music is present. Listening to this music regularly can therefore help you lower your blood pressure and heart rate. A lower heart rate will render a calmer self and can give us inner peace to focus and achieve our goals more easily.
5.- Enhanced pleasure experiences
Dopamine is a very powerful neurotransmitter that is closely related to our emotions, movements and sensations of pleasure. Listening to music that we are fond of (anywhere from music from our teen years to soothing music we like), produces a pleasant sensation in our brains, contributing to experiences as pleasurable as eating food or making love.
You should consider using your iPod or mp3 player to create pleasing relaxing playlists, for sleep, meditation, massage, etc. The more you visit these playlists the more you’ll be able to rip these benefits off of this type of music. Always play what feels most appropriate to your needs and taste.
1. “Soothing Music Reduces Stress, Anxiety and Depression during Pregnancy Says Study” Medical News Today, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006093020.htm
Healing at the speed of sound: How What We Hear Transforms Our Brains and Our Lives, by Don G. Campbell, 2012
This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, by Daniel J. Levitin, 2007