Music and Your Brain

The Psychology of Music

Music offers us many benefits, it puts into words the feelings we just can’t express, it inspires us and brings us together.  It also can produce profound affects on the brain as is outlined in the data visualization above.

Music can be used to reduce stress or anxiety

There is not a single music that is good for everyone or that everyone will enjoy. People have different tastes and musical preferences. It is important that you like the music being played for music therapy to be effective at relieving stress.

The following are general music therapy guidelines from holisticonline.com  to get the most out of a music therapy session: 

  • To wash away stress, try taking a 20-minute “sound bath.” Put some relaxing music, lie in a comfortable position on a couch or on the floor near the speakers and breathe deeply. For a deeper experience, you can wear headphones to focus your attention and to avoid distraction.
  •  Choose music with a slow rhythm – slower than the natural heart beat which is about 72 beats per minute. Music that has repeating or cyclical pattern is found to be effective in most people. 
  • As the music plays, allow it to wash over you, rinsing off the stress from the day. Focus on your breathing, letting it deepen, slow and become regular. Concentrate on the silence between the notes in the music; this keeps you from analyzing the music and makes relaxation more complete. 
  • If you need a stimulation after a day of work, go for a faster music rather than slow calming music. 
  • When going gets tough, go for a music you are familiar with – such as a childhood favorite or favorite oldies. Familiarity often breeds calmness.
  •  Take walks with your favorite music playing over headphones. Inhale and exhale in tune with the music. Let the music take you. This is a great stress reliever by combining exercise (brisk walk), imagery and music.
  •  Listening to the sounds of nature, such as ocean waves or the calm of a deep forest, can reduce stress. Try taking a 15- to 20-minute walk if you’re near the seashore or a quiet patch of woods. If not, you can buy tapes of these sounds in many stores or online.

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