How Does Music Reduce Stress And Anxiety: A Complete Guide

Amisha Shukla

2021-05-07

Modern society is teeming with stress. Given the extensive demands on our personal and professional lives, this probably comes as no surprise. 

However, what might be surprising is the discovery that ongoing stress over extended periods can lead to certain irregularities in the stress response system. This, in turn, can give rise to a spectrum of disorders, including high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and depression. Thus, people need to be able to cope with stress daily. 

Enter music therapy, which has been earning increasing popularity as a helpful way to fight stress. Using music to enhance health has been well-documented. It reduces pain, encourages relaxation, increases the quality of life and improves mood. Moreover, music relieves the soul during one of life's most sad and happy points. 

Does Playing Music Reduce Stress? 

Music can bring us out of problems or move us to tears - it is a solution, a potion, mango juice for the ear. But for numerous neurological patients, even when no medication can, movement, speech, or life. For them, music is a necessity. 

Music reduces stress and anxiety for different people in different ways. For example, if we ask people around us about what they would like to do after a busy day at work, they will come up with multiple answers. Some would say they will enjoy reading their favourite book; others will enjoy a good dinner while watching their favourite movie or tv show. Another standard answer will be sitting in bed with headphones on while their favourite music plays, taking all their exhaustion away. 

Here's a quick activity for you to try right now 

Close your eyes gently and try to create an imaginary scenario in your mind, where you can see yourself getting back home from a tiring day at work, changing into comfortable clothes. At the same time, you sit at your favourite spot in the house and enjoy your favourite music. 

Isn't it beautiful to imagine? 

The beats, rhythms, lyrics, and composition of the song you listen to change, alter, and lift your whole mood, completely transforming your state of mind. A 2-minute piece can sometimes make the tiredness of the entire day at work fade away. 

Not only vibes but facts: The psychological perspective 

Music therapy is a commonly used psychological treatment method that the therapists and counsellors suggest to the individuals coping with great stress and anxiety. 

The causes of stress and anxiety can be numerous. Stress's intensity and density also matter in suggesting the right therapy for a specific individual. However, it is generally observed that individuals who are stressed due to experiencing a lot of hustle in their lives where their days are always packed, and they find it difficult to relax. Music therapy can be a beneficial way as it helps in easing out stress and anxiety. 

Therapists also organize special music therapy sessions for individuals where a group of people are made to sit in peaceful and calm setups like a silent room with dim lights and mild fragrances of organic essential oils and flowers, which comforts their minds. 

In contrast, slow music plays for them to meditate, which helps them release all their stress. Therapists and clinical psychologists often suggest that taking some time out during the day and giving it for the relaxation of your mind is as important as working hard to achieve all your goals. After all, there is nothing more precious than peace of mind. 

The biological perspective

Not only does psychology as a discipline accept and confirm the positive impacts of music as a great therapist, but also, biologically, music delivers a lot of comfort to the brain and the nervous system, which helps strengthen the individual's physical well-being. 

How does music reduce stress and anxiety? 

Music can have a strong effect both emotionally and on the body. Faster music can help you in feeling better and concentrate more. Upbeat music can make you feel more hopeful about life. A slower tempo can calm your mind and soothe your muscles, making you feel relieved while releasing the day's stress. Music is very useful for relaxation and stress control. A person may commit at least 45 minutes to hear relaxing music in a comfortable position to induce sleep. 

So what type of music is best for reducing stress? 

A bit surprising is that Celtic, Indian stringed instruments, Native American, drums, and flutes effectively relax the mind even when played loud. Sounds of rain, thunder, and nature sounds can also be very pleasing, particularly when combined with other leisurely music. But, since we are rarely informed of the beats per minute with music, how do you pick the best relaxation music for you? 

The answer somewhat rests with you: You must first like the music being played and then relax. You could begin by just analyzing the music on this web page. Some may relax you; some may not. Forcing yourself to listen to relaxation music that irritates you can create tension in place of reducing it. You can also have a list of music to relieve stress and anxiety. 

Music as a personality grooming agent 

Music is believed to make individuals more self-aware yet free and liberal in approach, which makes them explore more freely and live life to the fullest. 

Additionally, people with creative jobs like authors, dancers, actors, etc., are often advised to listen to more music. It helps them develop their imagination power greatly, improve their communication skills, and add to their personality and character development.

Music therapy is also believed to be helpful when it comes to releasing bottled up emotions and venting out feelings. As a result, this proves to be essentially beneficial for a person facing a lot while just trying to stay quiet and not sharing a lot about how they feel. 

Music is also believed to have spiritual healing powers that cleanse the chakras and rearrange the alignments of an individual's body, mind, heart, and soul. Thus, providing it rejuvenated energy and positive vibrations that attract joy in their life. Considering this belief, meditation sessions are sometimes held while slow and calming music plays in the background.

At the end 

Music is something that everyone likes. Only the choices and preferences differ. Anything that people like gives happiness to them, making them forget all their worries, thus easing their stress and anxiety. Therefore, we can rightly say and believe that music is the ultimate therapist. Music is supposed to trigger the dopamine hormone in the brain, which makes the person feel good and stress-free to a great extent. Music, therefore, promotes emotional well-being and regulates blood pressure. 

Different kinds of music and songs are believed to ignite various hormones per an individual's situation. For example, we often hear sharp and bold music playing in gyms and workout places because that kind of music motivates people to exercise with vigour and energy. On the other hand, soft and slow music is often played at restaurants and cafes to make the atmosphere casual, light and enjoyable.