Everybody has a favorite album they like to put on when it’s time to relax and have fun. But did you know your brain is also doing serious work while you listen to music, which can result in some great benefits? Understanding the healing power of music can help you harness it to improve your life.
The Healing Power of Music
Whether you’re trying to improve your cognitive health or just looking for an enjoyable new hobby, activities that boost your brainpower are always a good bet. Doing things that engage your brain in novel ways can lead to all kinds of rewards, including improvements in your mental and physical health. And don’t worry; you don’t need to give yourself a headache to get the benefits of cognitive engagement. Brain teasers are great, but there are many other ways to stimulate your mind. For example, research shows that listening to music can heal and stimulate different areas of the brain, with no puzzles required. What is the healing power of music, and how can you make it work for you?
Music Stimulates Every Area of the Brain
One of the reasons that seniors are encouraged to do brain-boosting activities is that the human brain relies on stimulation in order to build pathways and function correctly. When we learn new things, it gives our brains a much-needed workout. Listening to music is also a great way to give your brain a workout because our brains must do a lot of different kinds of processing in order to understand music. Every part of your neural system is required for your brain to make sense of a song, even if it’s one you’ve heard before. So if you aren’t feeling up to your daily sudoku, you can still train your brain by putting on your favorite album.
Music Helps Our Brains Make Connections
One of the ways that music helps our brains is that it allows us to create and reinforce connections between stimuli, events, and memory. For example, a song played at your wedding might summon happy memories of family and friends celebrating together, or a song you associate with an old friend might lead you to reminisce about the good times you shared. Listening to music related to different events in your life can help you access and remember those events more clearly, which can be a gift for anyone trying to improve their memory.
Music Can Improve Your Physical Health
Music does some exciting things for your brain, but it can also have a profound positive impact on your physical health. Listening to music you enjoy will introduce neurochemicals associated with happiness into your brain, which leads to improved moods and less anxiety. Research shows that listening to music regularly is correlated with lower blood pressure and lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. This is why some doctors harness the power of music therapy to help seniors recover from adverse health events. Studies even show that music can be the key to assisting seniors in recovering motor skills and cognitive abilities after they experience a stroke.
Where does the healing power of music come from? Music can help the body repair itself in unique ways by stimulating the brain. So go ahead and put on some of your favorite songs from the old days, and feel free to sing along too.
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