Everyone listens to music. In a way, this has shaped who were are individually. What our interests are, what clothes we wear and the development of your vocabulary. Music encompasses many aspects of our life. As infants, in an attempt to form words, we babbled, mimicking the sounds of spoken word around us. Music takes words and rearranges them into eloquently constructed stories. Music has a way to either bring up forgotten memories or free our minds from them temporarily.
Listening to music is a workout for your brain. As our brains age, it’s imperative to keep our minds engaged. Challenge your ability to critically and strategically think. Listening to music helps improve memory and recall. Many people, including myself, listen to music while studying/working as they feel it helps them focus. The University of Central Florida has studied the effects of music on the human brain. Neuroscientist Kiminobu Sugay observed how songbirds relearn their songs each year. Sugay suggests that music may increase neurogenesis, the creation of neurons, in the brain. Longterm cognitive function is dependent on your continued use of your brain. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it; this is synonymous to many aspects of our body, such as our muscle composition.
” Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul”Plato
Our parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for our body’s ability to rest and digest in an attempt to conserve energy. Music targets this system. As a result, our heart rate slows, and our blood pressure decreases. Our bodies are in a state of relaxation and ready for a good night’s sleep. We not only fall asleep faster, but the quality of our sleep is also improved. Using music as a sleep aid in individuals with insomnia has been found to short stage 2 of sleep and elongate rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep is when our brain is most active, allowing us to dream vividly. With better sleep comes increased energy and improved mood.
We all have our go-to song. No matter the day or time, we can turn this song on and are immediately overcome with feelings of joy and satisfaction. We know all the lyrics word-for-word. We pay close attention to each beat, each instrument, and try to mimic how the vocalist harmonizes each word. These songs become part of our existence, how we’ve shaped our identity. When we fully immerse ourselves into a musical piece, we get lost. Our imaginations run wild, and scattered images pop into our heads. Music is how we foster creativity and innovativeness. See below an example of a self-love playlist.
Music tells a story. Each lyric, each beat the arrangement of the song, is intentional to elicit some reaction. Often I wonder what is going on in lyricists’ life when they compose a song; what’s the story behind the lyrics. Our ability to connect to songs helps with coping. Studies have found that listening to music alleviates the effects of depression and anxiety. It also helps with managing chronic illnesses, stress management, developmental disorders, overcoming grief/loss. Emotionally connecting to a song brings about feelings of solace and comfort. And through uplifting songs, we build resiliency.
This week take some time to organize your music and create a go-to playlist. Share this playlist with some of your closest friends and encourage them to collaborate and add songs of their choosing.