What do you do when you need motivation?
Most people play music to get themselves into a positive mood. Everyone has that song, or that playlist which they use to get them in the right frame of mind to focus. What do you do when you feel sad? You play music. Some people play sad songs and sink into the music; some play happy, upbeat tunes and shake the feeling loose. What do you do when you need help to relax? The list could go on and the answer is always the same. It’s simple – music has its place in every aspect of our lives.
Music is the perfect accompaniment to exercise; if you are working-out or jogging, or even practicing yoga, your experience will be improved no end by music. Sports-people play music to motivate themselves before competing; football teams, for example, have dressing room playlists and someone is selected as the team DJ. Boxers choose a song for their walk to the ring. It helps to get them into the perfect state of mind and can also serve to intimidate the opponent. This all just shows how sensitive we are to music and how much of an effect it has upon us in various contexts.
The benefits that music has on us
Music can also improve the quality of our sleep. It has been shown that listening to classical music an hour before going to bed can bring relief to people suffering from insomnia, with bad sleep patterns and with severe sleeping problems. Why not try it?
Research shows that playing a musical instrument stimulates the brain and improves concentration and even an individual’s mathematical ability. It has positive effects on mental health and has been known to relieve stress, tension and help people with depression. It has also been shown to improve memory function and music has been used with patients experiencing memory loss. Patients with Dementia and Alzheimer’s have shown marked improvement after music therapy.
Music is also shown to help people heal from various forms of disease. Research has shown that it can affect brain function, blood pressure and heart rate and even aid muscle recovery. So, it appears that music not only has mental benefits but clear physical ones as well. It has been seen to improve movement in Parkinson’s sufferers and is used extensively with stroke victims as they recover cognitive function.
Music helps with language development and it has been incorporated into teaching through singing, as it helps develop the rhythm and cadences of speech. At the same time, it improves reading skills. It is an international form of communication that crosses language barriers and can bring people together.
Some prefer to listen to music while working. Research shows it affects our brain while we are carrying out an activity and performance can change depending on the type of music we listen to. Some people need to be particularly focussed in their job; for instance, an accountant doing an audit revision. Alternatively, a game player, such as a poker player, is required to use their mind in order to eliminate their opponents during a competition so might require concentration music, or someone such as an artist, writer or painter may use classical music to assist them in creating their work.
It’s not just humans that feel the positive effects of music; plants and animals also react positively to it. Studies show that cows increase their milk yield and plants grow better with music, especially from the classical genre.
Music forms part of our identity, everyone can define themselves through their music taste. Understanding our own personality helps to empower us as individuals and music, like fashion, is one of the best ways to mark out the boundaries of our identity.
It doesn’t matter what music you enjoy, or what music you enjoy in different moods and settings, the positive effects on your life are pronounced. Whatever the occasion, there will be an appropriate genre. Go on, treat yourself, press play. Feel the benefit!
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