People often say that music soothes the soul.  Most people play music for relaxing and entertaining purposes.  For others, they use it for its healing properties in mind, body, and spirit.  Studies have shown that it uplifts mood, alleviates pain, and treats many physical and psychological disorders.  As a result, it boosts a person’s overall well-being.

What is music?

Music affects its creators and listeners in varied ways. Because it is a subjective concept, people can have a different take on what it means to them.  A dictionary definition of music states that it is an arrangement of vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) having melody, rhythm, timbre, and harmony. Through these elements, music expresses ideas and evokes emotions.

The origins of music date back to prehistoric times.  Evidence of bone flutes and percussion tools were unearthed from the Paleolithic period.  Upon the development of writing, ancient forms of rhythms existed in most early Asian societies, such as Chinese, Persian, and Indian.

Historically, people’s spiritual beliefs catalyzed creating melodies.  Hinduism influenced the Indian classical harmonies, and Confucianism laid the foundations for Chinese music. Similarly, the earliest hymns written for the Christian church inaugurated the western classical tunes.

Through the years, music has become part of the different cultures across the globe.  It has evolved into different types and forms. People considered it to be the universal language of humanity.  With radio gaining popularity in the 20th century, music listening became even more famous.  The media and technological advancements of the following century allowed new ways to create, experiment, record, edit and distribute harmonies to people who sought its benefits.

What are the benefits of music?

There is no denying that music is a part of life.  On a typical day, you will probably hear a beat, a song playing on the TV or radio, perhaps even yourself humming a tune.  Whether you are listening to it in your past time or undergoing a formal music therapy session, it offers valuable rewards in many ways.  Among them are:

Music encourages relaxation

Melodies with a slow tempo and low pitch are calming and relaxing.  This type of music quiets the busy mind and relaxes tensed muscles. It eases the stress away from the fraught task at hand. Classical music can be peaceful and harmonious. Playing this type of music while working or studying can create a serene environment.

It improves the mood

Music boosts the production of the hormone called dopamine in the brain.  Dopamine is particularly called the “happy hormone.”  It relieves feelings of sadness, anxiety, and depression.  Upbeat tunes make its listener feel more optimistic about life.  In the same way, playing songs with uplifting lyrics can give you the positive energy and motivation that you need.

It stimulates creativity

The repetitive elements of rhythm and melody aid the brain in forming patterns that enhance memory, cognition, and creativity.  Happy music with high emotions promotes divergent thinking. This type of thinking refers to how the mind generates out-of-the-box ideas.  People who listen to happy melodies while working develop more creative and innovative ideas. These help them to solve problems more easily at work.

Music can reduce stress

Listening to calming music releases tension from your body.  It can help bring you in the zone as you meditate, exercise, or do yoga. Combining slow music with the sounds of nature can even be more energizing. It drains away from the frustrations you may be carrying from the day’s stressful events.

It has been proven to relieve pain

A large number of studies have proven that music can decrease pain levels.  Since music has the ability to bring a person to perceive a different world, it distracts them from thinking about their pain. Music signals the brain to release another hormone called endorphins. These are the feel-good chemicals. They quell anxiety and ease feelings of pain.

Music has healing properties

Music therapy is the clinical use of music that addresses a person’s physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs.  It is an evidence-based therapy used by certified music therapists. These practitioners use experiences such as listening, singing, playing instruments, or composing melodies.  Music therapy has been proven to be helpful with mental and physical health concerns. It has aided in the treatment of people with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, hypertension, physical disabilities, learning difficulties, etc.

How does music soothe the soul?

The soul is the spiritual essence of a living being.  It hails from the inner part of the person and comprises his consciousness, existence, thoughts, will, and emotions.  Closely related to the concept of the mind, the soul also encompasses the person’s actions, memory, and imagination.

When you spend time playing, making, or listening to music, you create an outlet and a safe space to express your emotions.  Your feelings can either be pleasant or unpleasant. Once released, a change in mood follows.  Feeling good signifies that you have achieved the balance between your mind, body, and soul.

Elements of its components, such as rhythm, melody, harmony, and tempo, rouse cognitive and emotional responses. Moreover, music utilizes an auditory (heard) stimulus. This stimulus moves your physiologic and psychological states. As a result, whatever pain you feel alleviates, and healing is initiated.

In addition, harmony produces vibrations.  The body, mind, and soul synchronize with the beat of the music. Vibrations then influence the body’s rhythm.  These responses push the brain to release chemicals that are beneficial for your well-being.

By evoking deep emotions and stimulating fond memories, music has the ability to take you to another time and place.  It helps you think and feel profound about the different facets of your life.  Providing a channel by which you can connect with others and your spiritual being. Music fulfills its promise of soothing your body, mind, and soul.  As Kahlil Gibran said, “Music is the language of the spirit.  It opens the secret of life, bringing peace, abolishing strife.”

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