Have you ever turned on a good song or favorite tune and felt immediately relaxed? Music is powerful in many ways, but one of the best things it can do is help you to manage stress. You might be someone who listens to music all day long to help yourself relax. In that case, forgetting your headphones can be a major let down!
You might also be someone who only turns the music on occasionally – sometimes when you feel you need it most. Regardless of how often you listen to music, its stress reduction powers are incredible.
You might be wondering exactly how that works. Is there a scientific explanation for using music to manage stress? You bet there is!
How Does Music Reduce Stress?
When you feel stressed, it’s likely that you start to feel overwhelmed or will experience some emotional tension. This can hurt you both physically and mentally.
How does music reduce stress exactly? As you become stressed, your body releases certain chemicals and hormones that activate the brain. Blood pressure and heart rate can rise, and your body will begin to produce the cortisol stress hormone.
Too much cortisol in your system can cause you to reach exhausting states of flight or flight. It can also mean ongoing stress, creating even more problems, such as depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
Music has been known to help relieve stress as it can provide calming effects. Music can lower your cortisol levels and your heart rate. It can help to distract you from the things that may be causing you emotional or physical stress.
Many see an increase in endorphins when listening to music which ultimately makes you happier and improves your sense of well-being. Music truly is incredible!
How Does Music Affect the Brain?
To help you understand the stress-reducing effects of music even further, let’s look at how it can influence the brain.
When considering what music does to us while we’re listening, it’s important to know that music moves through your ears as vibrations. As these vibrations reach your inner ear, they translate into electrical signals – pretty neat!
Once these signals have been translated, your neurons will transmit them to different areas of the cerebral cortex. Then, different brain parts will detect things like tone, rhythm, and pitch. The brain combines all this information, so you experience the music emotionally and through the different bodily systems. This is how music affects us and why it is so powerful!
One way to harness these special abilities is with a vagus nerve stimulation device like Xen by Neuvana. With special headphones that stimulate the vagus nerve through the ear, you can make the most of music’s ability to influence the brain.
When to Listen to Music to Better Manage Stress
You might be scratching your head, wondering when the best time would be to listen to music for the purpose of managing your stress. Here are some of our best ideas!
As you’re getting ready in the morning
Music can be a great addition to your routine if you have trouble getting yourself up and moving in the morning. It will help you to start your day off feeling good. The right choice of music can also set you up for a more stress-free day.
Try playing instrumental or classical music in the morning to help you wake up. It’s sure to help you feel a lot more focused and will help you to feel more energized. Some types of music will even make you want to dance and sing, which is a recipe for a great day ahead!
While you’re commuting
Whether you take the bus, walk, or drive to work or school each day, your commute is a great time to listen to music. Doing so can help relieve tension and ensure you start your day on the right foot.
It’s a great time to practice a little self-care and allow your mind to relax. You’re sure to arrive at your destination feeling at peace and less stressed than you might have felt otherwise. Let the road rage go, and use this precious time to help yourself feel great.
Are you someone who cooks a meal each night? Cooking is the perfect time to throw on some music and relax. You might throw on some smooth jazz to help get yourself in the mood to cook.
Not only will you be cooking up a nutritious homemade meal, but you might also enjoy your time in the kitchen. You’re sure to feel much more at ease when it comes time to sit and eat dinner.
While you’re eating
Speaking of cooking and eating, it’s a great idea to listen to music while sitting down for a meal. Soothing music can help to stimulate your relaxation response which can help to lower your cortisol levels. Lower cortisol means you can digest your food more easily. It’s also known to help you eat less and enjoy your food more. What could be better?
Cleaning your home
We all have to do cleaning, so why not try and make the most out of it? Having an organized and clean home will help lower your stress levels, but the cleaning process doesn’t need to be stressful.
Throw on some music to help boost your energy levels and allow yourself to have some fun.
While paying your bills
Paying your bills isn’t exactly a relaxing task. But it doesn’t always need as much concentration as you might think. Help yourself to relax through the process by playing some music while you deal with your finances. It will help to at least make the task a bit more enjoyable.
There are several ways to incorporate music into your daily routine! Give it a try and get started on your journey towards a more stress-free life.