Music is a powerful tool that influences our emotions, thoughts, and physical and even mental health.
In recent years, research has shown that music can have a profound impact on our mental health.
Whether it’s listening to uplifting music to lift your mood or using music as a therapy to treat mental health conditions.
We should not underestimate the power of music.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health involves the emotional, psychological and social well-being of an individual. As the name implies, it is related to our mind – how we think, feel and react to issues.
From childhood to adolescence and adulthood, the importance of stable mental health has to be fully emphasized.
This is especially important today because more people are prone to mental health challenges now.
In Africa, quite a number of people believe that they are immune to mental health challenges and anything related is MADNESS.
Even though this assertion is common, it is not valid.
In recent years, mental health problems have appeared to be increasing. In fact between the years 2000 and 2015, there has been a 52% increase in mental health challenges here.
One of them common with students when writing their final exams is the last paper syndrome.
Ways Music Influences Mental Health
1. Relieves Stress and Anxiety:
A study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing showed that listening to relaxing music for just 20 minutes a day can reduce stress levels and anxiety by up to 21%.
This is because music changes our physiological responses, such as reducing blood pressure, slowing down the heart rate, and reducing the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
2. Improves Mood and Lifts Depression:
Music changes our mood and lifts our spirits, even when we’re feeling down.
A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that listening to upbeat music can increase feelings of joy and happiness.
Also, research has shown that music therapy can be an effective treatment for depression, alleviating symptoms and improving mood
3. Enhances Cognitive Function:
They have also shown music to enhance cognitive function and improve brain function.
A study published in the journal Neuropsychology, Development, and Cognition showed that listening to music can improve memory, and attention, and even increase IQ scores.
This is because music activates many parts of the brain, including the areas that control language, attention, and emotions.
4. Promotes Relaxation and Better Sleep:
I have found music to be an effective tool in promoting relaxation and improving sleep quality.
A study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing found that listening to soothing music before bedtime can improve sleep quality.
This is because music can help to slow down the heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and promote relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
5. Reduces Chronic Pain:
They have also found music to be an effective tool for reducing chronic pain.
A study published in the Journal of Pain showed that listening to music can reduce chronic pain by up to 21%.
This is because music activates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, and also reduces the levels of cortisol, which can increase pain levels.
In conclusion, music influences our mental health in a variety of ways.
Whether it’s reducing stress and anxiety or promoting relaxation and better sleep, music can play a powerful role in improving our overall mental health.
For effectiveness’ sake, it’s important to find the type of music that works best for you and to make it a regular part of your self-care routine.
Note: I do not intend the information in this article as medical advice. If you are experiencing mental health issues, please visit any of the mental health organisations.