It’s no secret that music can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety! Today, we’re exploring the science behind the effects music can have on your brain when you’re feeling stressed out, and overwhelmed.
When listening to a song that produces happy feelings, your cortisol levels can begin to drop. Cortisol is a hormone your body produces when you’re experiencing feelings of stress and anxiety. We want to avoid this, as this hormone can be harmful to your body if levels get too high. When you find yourself beginning to feel the effects of stress, try listening to a song that reminds you of a positive memory. Upbeat songs cause your brain to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that encourages feelings of joy and excitement. This is a great way to combat cortisol!
Another way music can lessen stress is by helping you relax. Soft, instrumental music can create an atmosphere that allows for relaxation, melting your worries away. For those struggling with insomnia, try peaceful, instrumental music to help you fall asleep. Sleep is a natural stress reducer, so when you’re able to maintain better sleep habits, your cortisol levels will drop.
Besides reducing stress hormones, listening to music can alter the state of your brain, changing the speed of your brainwaves, and creating space for your mind to slow down. Listening to slower, rhythmic music can even put your mind in a trance-like state, similar to the effect meditation can have on the brain. Overall, this encourages full body relaxation, and can help to reduce symptoms of PMS, migraines, depression and more.
Discover new music. Listening to the same music too often can lessen the likelihood of experiencing these stress-reducing effects. Find new music! Discovering new songs that have a positive impact on your mood will trigger the biggest amount of dopamine release. After all, who doesn’t love finding new music to enjoy?
Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, break out your head phones and discover the positive impact music can have on your mood!