Did you know that today, November 5, is the National Stress Awareness Day? You’ll probably tell us that you are too…stressed out to remember to put such events on your agenda, but that’s precisely a good reason why you should! After all, stress is like a nagging back pain – we all suffer from it from time to time (some of us more often that others), but we don’t really do much about it. However, there are some proven ways to ease both your backache and the stress.
Today, however, we’d like to focus on stress reduction only (since we are not licensed back healers), and talk about how music can relieve many of the symptoms of anxiety.
There’s lots of evidence to suggest that, aside from many other health benefits, music is a very effective stress management tool. For instance, in one study carried out at Monash University in Australia, college students made a presentation before a group with either Pachaelbel’s Canon or no music in the background. Those who were accompanied by music felt less anxiety, and also had lower heart rate and blood pressure than students who presented without music. This finding is not really a surprise to us because we’ve always known that listening to music relaxes our minds and bodies, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones. Singing, by the way, is also a great way to release tension.
You may be a heavy metal aficionado, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you have a lot of stress in your life, soothing music will be more effective in taming your inner chaos. In one study conducted by a British university, researchers were looking at which types of music relieved anxiety the most. They determined – not surprisingly – that the most calming sounds were harmonious. “The most common labels for the relaxing tracks were, ‘peaceful,’ ‘serenity,’ ‘sadness’ and ‘joy,’” the researchers noted. So what should you listen to when you are stressed? Actually, there’s a wide variety of tunes, ranging from the above-mentioned Canon in D Major, to Louis Armstrong’s wonderfully uplifting “It’s A Wonderful World.” There are also sounds that will thoroughly relax you from inside out. And these tunes are supposedly scientifically proven to calm you down. You can’t argue with science!
So now you know what kind of music will soothe your soul, but there is even more good news from the world of science. Researchers found that playing a musical instrument can switch off the so-called “stress response,” which, in turn, promotes inner peace and emotional balance. And this is where our teachers can help. They will give you or a family member music lessons right in the comfort of your Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Riverdale home or office, eliminating the stress of commuting to and from. And that’s definitely something to be happy about!