How Music Affects the Human Body
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We are all well-familiar with how music can affect our mood in a positive manner, help us collect our thoughts, or even help release pent up aggression or anger. Simply put, music is good for the soul. However, we rarely stop to think about the way music affects our bodies, not just our minds. There is plenty of research available out there to suggest that music does indeed have some extremely positive effects on our bodies.
Of course, the most obvious way music can affect our physical bodies positively is by having us dance to it. It is a great way to get yourself moving, get the blood flowing, burn calories, and lose weight. However, it goes way deeper than that. Listening to music can actually alter our heart rates, even when we are stationary. Our hearts listen and respond to musical components such as tempo, pitch, volume, and frequency, not to mention the lyrics. The faster the song you are listening to, the faster your heart rate will be. So, if you are blasting some speed metal, your heart will beat faster. But, if you are listening to some smooth jazz, your heart rate will slow down.
Needles to say, these changes are fairly moderate, and you won’t experience any major peaks in your pulse, but they are there. This means music can really help us calm down in stressful situations, or raise our energy levels when we are not feeling too active. So, by affecting out heart rate, music affects our mood, and can help us relieve tension and stress. In other words, music can indirectly heal our physical bodies. Another aspect of our condition which can be influenced by music is our blood pressure. Relaxing and listening to music has shown to lower blood pressure, and reduce anxiety, stress, or even depression.
Music can even improve our immune system, even if you dedicate only 15 minutes to it per day. For instance, when you listen to music, certain protein levels will go up. That particular family of proteins is responsible for producing components inside your blood, such as blood platelets and lymphocytes. These, in turn, are responsible for protecting your body against diseases such as cancer or AIDS, not to mention less harmful ones, such as various strains of flu. If your immune system is working properly, your overall health will improve, and you will be more resistant to illnesses. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should stop taking care of yourself and start eating junk food every day, just because you are listening to music.
Another aspect of our lives which can be improved by music is our ability to learn and memorize, and push our boundaries. Music can be a valuable addition when we are exercising, because it can help us extend our stamina and push ourselves beyond our current capabilities. On the other hand, listening to classical music, such as Mozart, can aid your learning process and help you retain your focus over longer periods of time when memorizing lessons, poems, or expanding your vocabulary in a foreign language. It is a well-known fact that children learning to play a musical instrument have performed better on test which involve intense concentration. Learning to play a musical instrument has other positive side effects, such as better discilpine, motivation, and behavior.
Finally, there are scientific evidence that suggest that music can actually inspire us, despite most people believing in the inspiring power of music already. You see, music can alter your brain waves, and lower their frequency. There are several different types of brain waves, such as alpha, beta, theta, and delta waves, all of which occur at different times and frequencies. Beta waves occur when you are doing regular activities or experiencing something negative. However, alpha waves, which vibrate at a lower frequency, usually occur when we are calm or intensely aware. Theta waves occur when we are at our most creative, or when we are meditating or sleeping. And there are delta waves, which are produced when we are experiencing deep sleep or unconscious state. As is evident, the lower the frequency of our brain waves, the more in tune we are with our creative capacities, and we can get there faster by adopting a simple, yet effective practice of listening to music every day.
All this evidence points to what we have already known. Music has an overwhelmingly positive influence on both our brains and our bodies, whether we are dancing to it, playing it ourselves, or simply listening to it. It can make us healthier, happier, and cause us to adopt a more positive outlook on life. It can inspire us and help us push past out limits. Music makes us better, and for that, we should celebrate its existence.