How Does Listening To Music Reduce Stress?
Listening to music can have a relaxing effect on our minds and bodies when we’re stressed. For example, classical music has a quiet and (sometimes) slow tone, which creates a calming atmosphere. This type of music can have a beneficial effect on our body: slowing the pulse and heart rate, relaxing our muscles, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones. Music itself can go hand in hand with other stress relieving techniques as well. Nature sounds mixed with quiet calming music can act as a great aid to meditation, helping to prevent the mind from wandering.
Music has been shown to stimulate brainwaves. These brainwaves can change your mood and even behavioral responses depending on what type of music you're listening to. Music with a slower tempo produces calmness and a meditative state. Plus, the benefits continue even long after the music stops. When your brainwaves shift, other events occur in your body as well. For example, your muscles relax, you become more alert, and your breathing and heart rate alter.
IT'S NOT JUST LISTENING TO THE MUSIC
Put all the connections of the outside world on pause and replace it with a few of your favorite tunes.
Simply listening to music doesn’t always help with stress. For example, if there are too many distractions in your home, it might be hard to concentrate on relieving your stress. You should try lying down with some headphones on and an eye pillow (or just closing your eyes). This will allow the sound to move through you. This is the time to simply let go of your thoughts. Ease your transition from the challenging world outside and slip into this calming, musical atmosphere. When you’re finding a piece of music to manage your stress, don’t just choose a random song. Typically, slower more pattern-oriented music can help regulate and relax our systems, and more up-tempo music can get us up-and-going. Happier songs can often lighten the mood quickly and sometimes bring back fond memories.
However, dealing with stress doesn’t always mean that we need to listen to chirpy music. Sad and harsh songs have their places when dealing with stress as well. Sad songs can sometimes help us process heavy emotions we need to move through. This helps us shift to a new and happier place. Other times, hard rock music can help us release our anger before we can calm down enough to relax.
If you’re not sure what the best type of music is for you to relax to, don’t worry, there’s a general answer. According to studies, Native American, Celtic, Indian stringed-instruments, drums, and flutes are very effective at relaxing the mind even when played moderately loud. Sounds of rain, thunder, and nature sounds may also be relaxing particularly when mixed with other music, such as light jazz, classical, and easy listening music.
GETTING THE MUSIC
With today's easy access to the Internet, it's not hard to find a program that provides free music. Here are some examples below.
Soundcloud is a free app that is popularly used worldwide. (However, listening to music without ads is a separate payment.) Soundcloud provides users with access to not only popular songs of today, but also composed songs and original works from other users. Users can like, (re)post, and share tracks. There are millions of profiles and stations available for users to follow as well. (By "following" these stations, you get instant alerts to when the station has (re)posted or liked a new track). When you "like" a track, it is stored in your library with the rest of your liked tracks. One really nice feature with this app is that you can create your own playlists and albums. With this tool, you can create a separate playlist that is designed for your stress management.
Spotify is also a free music provider app. Similar to Soundcloud, users get to search for any track, artist or album for free. (Users must make a payment in order to listen without ads.) However, Spotify does not allow users to post their own tracks, in contrast to Soundcloud. This app is also popularly used for streaming music. Spotify also allows you to create your own playlists.
The one source that everyone can use to find music and sounds is YouTube. With YouTube, users can find videos of numerous content. (Some contents, such as shows or movies, are only shown through YouTube Red, a separate purchase.) However, in order to create videos, have a playlist, and like videos, you have to have an account. Another thing with YouTube is that you can't listen to your video in the background unless you purchase YouTube Red. Without the purchase, you must listen to video while being in the app. If you don't want the requirement of an account and you're just listening to music for a short period of time, YouTube is the right place for you. (YouTube does have an app, but it is not required.)
Examples of Non-lyrical Music (found on YouTube)
A Moment For Peace Meditation, (Aneal & Bradfield, "Heaven and Earth Spirits" track from Life & Love). Lovely contemporary piano music with accompanying instruments and nature scenes, 3:36.
Quiet Mind, (Nawang Khechog, "Quiet Mind" track 3 from Universal Love). Relaxing Tibetan meditation flute music, 3:26.
Echoes of Time, (C. Carlos Nakai from the Canyon Trilogy). Serene Native American flute music, with a picture of Nakai backlit by the sun at the Grand Canyon, 3:49.
The Winding Path, (Kevin Kern from The Winding Path). Beautiful piano music with accompanying instruments with pictures of exquisite flowers and plants, 3:59.
Angels of Venice - Pachelbel's Canon in D Major, (Angels of Venice from Music for Harp, Flute and Cello). Classical with 3 instruments with nature pictures, 4:30.
Spa Relaxing Music Long Time Mp3 with Candle Light. Tranquil contemporary instrumental with piano and a fixed candle light, 42:42.
Relaxation Music - 1 Hour Meditation Candle. Serene contemporary instrumental with piano and one flickering candle, 1:00:54.