In a world that is full of pressure and stress seeming like a disorder few people nowadays can avoid, it is important to find ways to wind down and relax. Granted some people thrive on a stressful and hectic lifestyle and a little stress is a good thing in that it brings challenge, adds spice and interest to life and keeps some people motivated. Even so, there are always limitations, no matter what your personality, status or ability. Everyone needs time to wind down and music can be a great tool to help you relax.
Music can have a profound affect on your mood and emotions. Life is so often full of extremes and listening to your favourite music can help make it feel you have a degree of control over what you choose to do especially during those times when it feels like you must go along with other people’s choices and some aspects of your life have been taken out of your hands.
The Transforming Affect of Music on Emotional Health
When wound up, miserable, irritable or feeling low, choosing the right kind of music can have a transforming affect on your mood. Choose something with a slow rhythm and repetitive structure during those times when your thoughts are all over the place and you’re finding it hard to focus your mind. The slow movements of Mozart’s sonatas can be incredibly soothing in helping you relax. Go for the light touch of Debussy if you’re a little low and need cheering up. Try Vivaldi to help improve your mood if you’re feeling cross or short-tempered.
Recent years have seen many studies looking at the link between music, the brain, mood and the body. In 2004, the British Transport Police played classical music in Underground stations in some of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in London for six months. During that time staff assaults decreased by 25 per cent and vandalism down by 37 per cent. Again in 2008 classical music was used in the London Underground stations based on research suggesting 80 per cent of people felt more relaxed listening to music and 85 per cent felt music improved the general environment of the station. Similar results were found in Tyne and Wear, England when vandalism was reduced after classical music was played at Metro Stations.
Music is vibration, rhythm and tone. When the body is out of kilter thunderous music at a high volume can add to this chaos while gentle, melodious pieces can have an incredibly harmonious affect on emotions, body and soul.
Times on Line
Journal of Advanced Nursing – Issue: Volume 37(1), January 2002, pp 8-18