When you are focusing on self-care you are taking time out your day to think about yourself even if only for a moment. It is likely that you’ve decided to eat healthier, get regular exercise, visit the nail salon or spa from time to time and regularly get good amounts of sleep. All of these things are great tools and building blocks for self- care.
If you’ve got your routine perfect you might not even be thinking of ways to take it to the next level. Have you ever thought of including music into your routine? You might not know that there is great significance in including music in your life as a whole. Music is a powerful tool in that it has both physiological and psychological effects.
In a 2013 study, it is stated that “continuing research within the psychology of music has highlighted the profound effects of music listening and there is no doubt that music is a separate channel of communication affecting emotions in significant ways. Music may be uniquely suited to managing or regulating emotions and stress in everyday life since it has the capacity to both distract and engage listeners in a variety of cognitive and emotional ways.”
There is science to back up the claim that music has healing power for the mind, body, and soul.
Music helps in Anxiety
Many people suffer from anxiety on a daily basis or at some point in their lifetime and music is a natural healer. In a pre-surgery study where some patients were given medication and others were exposed to music there was an interesting find. In their conclusion, it was found that “relaxing music decreases the level of anxiety in a pre-operative setting to a greater extent than orally administered (medications).”
So if you aren’t in the mood or just don’t have the time to do anything more than just listen to music, it can calm you & make you feel better. Feel the power of music healing by taking the time you need to relax, put on some tunes and pour into yourself.
Feeling Chemically Good
Music releases a chemical in the brain that has a key role in setting good moods, a 2011 study has suggested. Music can arouse feelings of euphoria and craving which is an amazing sensation to have by just including this one thing into your routine. In this same study, levels of dopamine were found to be up to 9% higher when volunteers were listening to music they enjoyed. So the next time you’re at the nail salon, put on some headphone with your favorite playlist to kick up those feel-good feelings.
Finding Ways to Include Music in Your Self-Care
If the scientific studies aren’t enough and you aren’t sure how to begin to combine both music and self-care? Here are 2 ways to get started using music daily or within your weekly routine.
Music & Meditation
When you are practicing meditation you can choose to include some calming meditation music. Use natural sounds like ocean waves, a breeze or a calming nature forest. Though music is not always used in the practice of meditation listening to music as a meditation practice can be very powerful.
Music while Exercising
Music is food for the soul so it only makes sense that using it for exercise will improve your workouts. Have you ever been to a ZUMBA or Soul Cycle class, they are using music to aid in the workouts because it works! Music can really make or break a work out but using it can help you exercise for longer periods of time. The music you listen to has the ability to not only delay fatigue but can also increase physical capacity, improve energy efficiency and influence mood.
Overall, whether you choose to listen to music while exercising, jamming in your car alone or simply dancing it out at home; it is important. As much as possible try to incorporate music into your lifestyle and for continued success in your self-care routine.