Use music to relax, balance moods, increase
your focus, and gain motivation.
Music can be used to improve speech function and decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. Different music genres stimulate different moods.
Music and neuroscience studies have indicated many beneficial ways music can engage and change the brain.
Emotion – Stimulating emotions through specific brain circuits triggers the hormones oxytocin and dopamine which make us feel happy and uplifted.
Memory – Studies have shown that we can reconnect with deep and meaningful memories which are triggered by familiar songs from our personal past.
Learning – If our brain is damaged, the neurons can find or create new pathways to adjust responses to new situations or changes in environment. Music can provide the stimuli to create these new pathways and to help the brain rewire itself. Through music, patients have been able to reconnect with memories they previously were unable to access.
Attention – Ever hear a song that engages you so profoundly it takes hold of your full attention? By engaging our brain and our attention in the right ways, music is able to activate, sustain, and improve our attention and focus.
6 Ways to Improve Your Brain
and Mood with Music
1. Play an Instrument
- Musical improvisation affects both sides of the brain.
- Technical skills are used to play the instrument – left side of the brain.
- New creative ideas or improvisation – right side of the brain.
- The emotion of music – taps into the power of our hearts.
- The spirituality of music – feels like ideas are flowing through and connecting something larger, outside of ourselves.
2. Musical Improvisation
- The skill of improvising when playing an instrument or singing is a powerful way music can affect your brain and mood.
- This skill can also be applied in different areas of our lives to find creative solutions and improve cognitive abilities and spontaneous thought, which in turn can assist with the challenges we face in our daily lives.
- Singing is beneficial for your heart and your brain.
- It’s about the act of singing itself, not how well you sing!
- Some studies have demonstrated that singing (even bad singing!) provides emotional, social, and cognitive benefits.
For thousands of years, chanting has been a form of music that has been used as a vehicle to form a deeper spiritual connection in the brain, improve focus, relieve stress and for self-healing.
Chanting “Om” is considered to be one of the most important sounds in the universe to create positive vibrations.
Have you ever wondered why the sound om is chanted?
- When you chant “Om” it is said that it contains every sound in the universe.
- In a pioneering study fMRIs (functional MRIs) were used to scan the brain while people chanted different sounds and syllables, including “ssss” and “om”. While chanting the sound of “ssss” showed no benefit, chanting “om” activated the area of the brain associated with a sense of peacefulness.
- There are many benefits including improved concentration, focus, better immunity and self-healing power. The vibrations open up the sinuses to clear the airways and can place you in a meditational state which makes you more relaxed, while strengthening your vocal chords.
- Studies have also shown improved pulmonary function, increased mental alertness and potential relief from stress and depression.
- So try chanting Om, to calm mind chatter and shift the focus to a deeper spiritual connection.
Try playing this video if you would like to listen to try Om Chanting.
- Research has shown that drumming has the ability to lower both blood pressure and stress hormones.
- The vibrations from a drum enhances your mood because of the energising, positive energy.
- Drumming is used to complement meditation to reduce anxiety, tension and stress.
- It’s fun, vibrant exercise to spontaneously release stress and let go of any tension.
6. Drum Therapy
- Drum therapy is used to release negative feelings and emotional trauma.
- It has successfully been used with people suffering from emotional traumas including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- The physical action of drumming can remove mental blockages and provide emotional release.
- Sound vibrations echo through every cell in the body, stimulating the release of negative cellular memories.
Try some of these tips to integrate music into your life everyday!
Music can help improve your attention and focus, trigger your happy hormones to make you feel uplifted and can also reconnect you with meaningful memories.
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