Music is widely used as a form of entertainment. It changes your mood and enlivens the atmosphere around you. But studies have shown that this treasured art also has several mental health benefits. Psychiatrists now believe that music can relieve stress, reduce anxiety, boost cognitive functions, and improve the immune system. Here are some of the mental benefits of listening to music.
1. Enhanced Cognitive Performance
Studies have revealed that music boosts the brain’s cognitive functions. A good reason for this is that it elevates your mood and helps you to think and perform better. That is why testing centers in research facilities and colleges put on soft tunes and classical music at a low volume, while their students are taking tests.
2. Reduced Stress While Traveling
Ordinarily, traveling either by air or by road puts the body and mind under a certain amount of stress. But according to Philips Research Lab, listening actively to music while traveling will improve a traveler’s mood. Their studies showed that people who listened to music got to their destination in a better mood than those who did not. In fact, more than 60,000 people travel around the world to attend music concerts and festivals because of the soothing effect of music.
3. Reduced Occurrence of Depression
Whether you have frequent bouts of depression or you experience it occasionally, you can use music to get rid of its symptoms. Many studies have confirmed that listening to music and dancing along can help you to deal with depression. As a matter of fact, many online PMHNP programs stress the importance of music and many PMHNP degrees online integrate music as part of their curriculum these days.
To enjoy this benefit, however, you must listen to the right type of music. Classical music and soft melodious tunes elevate the mood for a longer period of time while heavy rock music tends to increase depression.
4. Improved Immune System
The immune system is the body’s natural defense against infection and disease. It works through a network of cells and chemical substances called antibodies. When you listen to music, the number of antibodies in your body increases and this ultimately increases its ability to fight infection. So in addition to consuming foods and supplements that help the body to stay healthy, you should also boost your immune system by listening to various types of soul lifting tunes.
5. Improved Sleep Quality
Music can serve as a form of therapy for people who suffer from insomnia. Although the natural tendency is to use sleeping pills to fall asleep, this may not be the most helpful option since most sleep inducing drugs tend to have side effects. Instead, playing classical or soft music at a relatively low volume just before bedtime can improve the overall quality of sleep. Music helps you to relax and puts you in the right mood to enjoy better quality of sleep.
Music offers definite mental health benefits that should not be overlooked. If you’re not a music listener, you should consider it for its benefits on mental performance, the immune system, stress, and sleep quality.