Music is such a powerful force that it has the ability to affect our emotions thereby affecting our mood. Music has the ability to alter your state of mind simply by listening to it instead of physically ingesting it, such as drugs. Through the sense of hearing, music can bring about happiness, sadness, fear and irritation among many other good and bad moods.
Music affects various parts of our brain, in particular vision and memory
As a general tendency we usually pick music reflective of our moods. For example, we may choose upbeat music when we are happy and slow songs when we are feeling sad. Even though we may not understand the lyrics, we are generally able to resonate and feel the music.
In particular, sad music seems to impact our emotions the most. It can bring out the best or the worst in us. There is a power to hearing music that no other sense seems to transcend in the same way. Even simple notes and chords can have tears streaming down our cheeks due to their emotional evocation.
You have probably heard the phrase music to my ears. This saying relates to the positive influence of music. Good music can boost your mood and helps relieve stressful days. The mood booster, feel good, chemical dopamine, is released in the brain to help enhance a good mood and prolong feelings of pleasure.
Depending on the type of music you listen to, usually the best type of music is the kind that you personally enjoy. In this respect, music is a way to stimulate your mind positively. This personal type of preference helps to divert your energy away from bad moods and stir it towards a good mood.
Music can serve as a form of stress relief. Stress and anxiety can encourage the cerebral cortex to produce slow alpha –frequency brain waves. On the positive side this can mean that if the cortex were to produce faster beta waves with the help of the right type of music, you can experience better concentration levels.
Music also plays a vital role in an overall improved state of mental health. It positively aids mental health conditions on a specific note. Thus music has a healing quality. It is a form of communication and of self-expression. At a more profound level, music may evoke emotional responses during the healing process. In this context, music can serve to be therapeutic and therefore beneficial.
Furthermore studies have shown that patients suffering from long term illnesses such as cancer and respiratory conditions also benefit from music. Music serves to lower the heart – rate, blood pressure as well as relieving pain and improving the general well-being of an ill individual.
To improve exercise, use upbeat music to match the pace you wish to set for yourself. When running is accompanied with music, it can improve the overall performance. General guidelines for use of music for these purposes is that fast paced music is best suited for exercise and slow music is best for relaxation.
Matching music to the setting is all important as many marketing professionals will tell you. The background music to for instance a romantic dinner sets the scene for relaxation and enjoyment. Directors of horror movies will vouch for the importance of strong music creating fear mixed with that feeling of dread and anticipation.
On a general level some types of music which one person enjoys can be annoying to another person. It is all what you are used to, prefer, or have been accustomed to listening as you were growing up.
So next time you are in a certain good mood, turn up the volume to your favourite song and enjoy to your heart’s content the emotion you want to feel. When you are feeling low, change the music and allow a different beat to alter your negative state of mind into something wonderful.
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