Thursday, June 7, 2018

Do you spend hours listening to music? In the car, in the mornings with your coffee? Perhaps you listen to classical music in the evenings? Or just on some headphones on the way to work. It doesn’t matter how you are listening to music; it only matters that you do. Why? Well, in 2011 scientists found that music releases dopamine – the feel-good chemical in the brain. 

Photo by Mark Solarski on Unsplash
Some songs bring us back to those points in time. Sitting in long grass with headphones in, watching the world pass by, little to no reasonability. The smell of summer in the air, small puffs of clouds passing by, and daydreaming. Or, a song that gets you pumped up and ready to take on a big meeting at work, the horrid rush hour traffic or reminds you of feeling confident and in control. 

We all have music that takes us to particular places in our life, triggers important memories that we have stored away. But how can we expand on that and use music to improve our mental health? 

Focus: Classical music is the best thing for helping you focus, it also brings a lot of calm. Generally, any music with a tempo of 60 beats per minute increases your brains' ability to process information. Playing classical music in the background while you get on with your task is one way to utilise it. 
Social Connections: Music can stop us feeling alone, often times sharing playlists with friends, going to live music places or chatting on forums about bands you love can alleviate some isolations. 

Motivation: Eye of the Tiger anyone? If you need a bit of a boost to get through chores that you just can’t face right now, pop on some of your most loved upbeat tunes. Once the beat catches you, even on a not so great day, you’re likely to bop along and slowly work through what you need to do. 

Expression: If you have problems telling your loved ones how you are feeling, then consider making them a playlist of songs to help them understand. Music is compelling as a communicator, from ecstatic happiness to feeling like you can’t breathe right now. Whatever it is you want to say, you can use music to convey that. 

Relaxing: This one kind of goes without saying, music helps you relax. It doesn’t matter if you choose to have it in some headphones, or on in the background, taking a minute out of whatever is going on it your day to inhale, exhale and switch off a bit is helpful. 

When you have time, sit down and make a playlist for a few moods, things to perk you up, things to get you in the zone for your favorite activity, music that brings you back to particular moment and music that has made an impact on you. You might even consider picking up an instrument like the ukulele and using easyukulelesongs.com to take it to a whole new level of enjoyment. 

“Music is the greatest communication in the world. Even if people don't understand the language that you're singing in, they still know good music when they hear it” - Lou Rawls

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