Music is a fascinating concept. It consists of different sounds brought together to create a rhythm and melody.
Although there are different music genres and artists, listeners may share similar experiences after hearing their favorite songs or tunes. Maybe they feel pumped up while singing along, or perhaps some of the lyrics enliven memories that make them sentimental. Regardless of what they feel, what matters is how music can evoke a reaction from listeners' brains that makes them more attached to it.
Given how much influence it has on the listeners, it’s safe to say that music has a way of affecting and boosting one’s mental state. Here’s how music does it:
1) Enhances Performance
Imagine you're working out. Envision yourself completing sets of exercises with only ten-minute water breaks in between. People who don't train frequently might find this routine dull. After all, doing all those exercises is no easy task. Because if they're not time-consuming, they'll leave anyone feeling worn out.
Trainers or gym enthusiasts suggest creating a playlist of upbeat songs and listening to them while working out. Playing these types of music boosts your performance because you're unconsciously following their rhythms. With their fast-paced or catchy tunes, you might not feel any pain as your brain is too stimulated by the music.
But before you blast your earphones with ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and the like, consider what activity you’re doing. If you’re only working out, listening to songs with lyrics is a great distraction from fatigue. However, that principle could backfire on you once you’re handling work. After all, you need your entire focus to perform well on your job. Hence, instead of listening to songs, instrumental soundtracks would be much better in this regard.
2) Lowers Stress
Many consider music their go-to whenever they’re stressed. Listening to relaxing playlists could soothe their weary minds and help alleviate their anxieties momentarily. Some radio stations are even dedicated to creating a safe space for troubled listeners, which you can learn more here if you’re interested.
Receiving auditory stimulation from their favorite artists or songs often helps take their minds off their problems and only focus on the music. That’s because music stimulates various brain networks to release certain neurochemicals that affect one’s mood, such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and cortisol.
Cortisol is also called a stress hormone. Although that’s the last thing you want to be released, listening to music helps regulate it, especially after a stressful event. Having relaxing music to focus on could help calm you down faster than without it.
3) Strengthens Memory
Studying for a big exam while listening to music works wonders for certain people. However, this technique’s efficiency depends on some factors, such as the type of music.
Those who listen to instrumental or neutral music are more likely to retain what they’ve studied better. Because just like when working while listening to music, there aren’t any lyrics distracting them. Moreover, they might find it easier to focus on their materials since most of the surrounding noise is ‘blocked off.’
However, that doesn’t mean that songs with lyrics are inferior when memorizing. After all, it’s been a common practice to turn normal texts into a song. For example, children memorizing the basic alphabet would be impossible without an easy rhythm they can follow.
4) Improves Sleep Quality
Many factors contribute to sleeping problems, namely noise pollution and stressful lifestyles. Because of them, your brain might still be racing with too many thoughts late into the night until daybreak. However, some find it extremely helpful to listen to classical music or audiobooks when having trouble sleeping.
Some people with sleep disorders have difficulties ‘turning off’ their brain activities since there’s nothing to focus on right as they’re about to turn in for the night. Listening to music acts as a buffer from outside noise and what goes on inside their minds. After all, music is an excellent tool for enhancing focus. Hence, it only makes sense for music to do the same when they’re about to sleep.
5) Connects People
Although some can share their lives with others without any problems, the rest might find it difficult to open up and connect. That's where music comes in.
People from all walks of life create music. The songs and tunes they make are pieces of their souls. So, although not universal, some people are bound to resonate with their message. Thus, music helps connect strangers, giving them a chance to enrich their lives.
Aside from how pleasing it is to the ears, people listen to music because it’s effective for their cognitive functions. It can improve their performance, lower their stress levels, and even serve as a bridge between strangers and build positive relationships. Considering how music impacts its listeners, it’s safe to say that incorporating music into your life could greatly enrich it.