The Power of Music - Happiness & Well Being

Do we ever feel weighed down by the sheer load of seemingly mundane existence? A burdensome urge to quit a dead-end job; to run away from everything that has meant life all along; or worse, to give up hope. In the meantime, restlessness, exhaustion or indifference take over every bit of motivation to work towards a life we always dreamt of. And this sneaky feeling slowly turns into a monster refusing to sleep.

Add to this agony the unwritten rules our world is governed by–rules chosen and honoured by us. We eat to survive, work to earn, exercise to stay fit and read to learn. A mere thought of even the slightest deviation from these and there is panic.

So what do we do instead? We stay put. And because we stay put, the ‘routine’ ultimately consume us. The invariable fallout of this is stress until it becomes the bane of our existence. So is there a way out?

Allow us to reintroduce a refuge. It’s no secret and it’s available in abundance.

Music.

It is the ultimate salvation for our fraught brains. It inspires, makes us cry, lulls us to sleep, makes us want to break into a dance, and evokes emotions we didn’t know existed. Without a doubt, it wields power over us and we wholeheartedly give in.

It’s therapeutic. Music therapy uses music as a tool to help cognitive, physical, social, and emotional health. According to the American Music Therapy Association website, music therapy intervention can be designed to promote wellness, manage stress, express feelings, enhance memory, improve communication and promote physical rehabilitation.

Music alters perception. The brain responds differently to different kinds of music. How we see the world largely depends on how we feel. Some compositions make us happy while some make us sad. In a study conducted at the University of Groningen, people were made to listen to different kinds of music. It was found that the nature of music influenced their perception. For example, someone listening to melancholic music is likely to perceive a neutral expression as sad.

It influences our mood. Usually, we pick music depending on our mood. But many aren’t aware that music can alter our state of mind. For instance, listening to classical music while working is known to enhance creativity.

Music fights stress. Our personal stress buster, music lowers the heart rate, blood pressure and regulates breathing. Music also eases muscle tension and has a relaxing effect.

It makes everyday tasks enjoyable. Listening to a song can drown out the brain’s cries of boredom. Mundane activities like cleaning a messy closet, cooking the daily meal, waking up from that sweet slumber and even summoning the energy to go for a run can become effortless with music.  

Dealing with anger, frustration, sorrow, distress or anything else–flitting off to our sanctuary of music helps. The best part is we don’t have to look for–music is all around us.

All we have to do is listen.

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Mallika Singh
Written by Mallika Singh for Soulveda.
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