Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Using music to lift your mood

Have you ever noticed how your mood can change depending on what you’re listening to on the radio? The impact that music has on our mental wellbeing shouldn’t be underestimated.

Think about it! Soothing music helps us calm down, while upbeat music energises us, helps us to perform, and can distract us from over thinking. Not to mention what music can do for our memory. Hearing a song from way back when can quickly help us recover memories and relive happier times.

When we listen to music we enjoy, feel-good hormones are released into the brain that generate emotions such as happiness, excitement and pure joy. So what exactly does music do to us that’s so beneficial?

Music helps us relax

Soothing and classical music slows our pulse and heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and decreases the levels of stress hormones. That’s why it’s used in doctors’ surgeries or hospital waiting rooms. It’s also a tried and tested way of preparing our bodies for a restful night’s sleep – you can read more about that in one of our previous blog posts.

Music helps us perform

Have you ever wondered why gyms play loud music? It’s to make us work harder! Our body gets in-tune with the rhythm which makes us work harder and for longer. It makes us feel in control and more optimistic about achieving our goals.

Music reduces our perception of pain

There’s a reason why women are offered music while in labour. Music can significantly increase our tolerance to pain and gives us perceived control over it. It also reduces anxiety, which helps people manage their own pain threshold better.

The great news is that is it really easy to incorporate more music into our lives – and to use it to benefit our mental wellness and general outlook. As a starter, we suggest the following simple tips:

  • Download a music or radio app onto your phone or tablet so that you can listen to music at work (if allowed), during your breaks or while commuting, especially if you have a stressful or a particularly busy day ahead.
  • Incorporate music into your daily regime – build up different playlists for the activities you do, such as one for walking, one for cooking, one for tidying. You get the idea! Music is especially good for heightening productivity during those jobs you’d rather not face, such as the ironing.
  • Turn off the TV an hour earlier each evening and listen to some music instead. Not only will it help lift your mood – it’ll leave you more receptive to sleep.

For more tips about how to manage your mental wellbeing, you can read this blog.

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