Music can have a profound effect on both the emotions and the body. Faster music can make you feel more alert and concentrate better. Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life. A slower tempo can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day. Music is effective for relaxation and stress management.
Research confirms these personal experiences with music. Current findings indicate that music around 60 beats per minute can cause the brain to synchronize with the beat causing alpha brainwaves (frequencies from 8 – 14 hertz or cycles per second). This alpha brainwave is what is present when we are relaxed and conscious. To induce sleep (a delta brainwave of 5 hertz), a person may need to devote at least 45 minutes, in a relaxed position, listening to calming music. Researchers at Stanford University have said that “listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication.” They noted that music is something that almost anybody can access and makes it an easy stress reduction tool.
So what type of music reduces stress the best? A bit surprising is that 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 (the “largo” movement), and easy listening music. Since with music we are rarely told the beats per minute, how do you choose the relaxation music that is best for you? The answer partly rests with you: You must first like the music being played, and then it must relax you. You could start by simply exploring the music on this web page. Some may relax you, some may not. Forcing yourself to listen to relaxation music that irritates you can create tension, not reduce it. If that happens, try looking for alternatives on the internet or consult with Counseling Service staff for other musical suggestions. It is important to remember that quieting your mind does not mean you will automatically feel sleepy. It means your brain and body are relaxed, and with your new calm self, you can then function at your best in many activities.
Experiment now. Experience a “sound bath” and let the music carry you away
The links below each open relaxing musical selections in YouTube.
A Moment of Peace Meditation
Aneal & Bradfield, “Heaven and Earth Spirits” track from Life & Love). Lovely contemporary piano music with accompanying instruments and nature scenes.
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.
The Winding Path
Ken Kern from The Winding Path. Highly rated, beautiful piano music with accompanying instruments with pictures of exquisite flowers and plants.
Classical Indian Music for Healing and Relaxing
Gayatri Govindarajan, “Pure Deep Meditation” track. Lovely and rhythmic music played on the veena, the most ancient of the Indian plucked-instruments, with nature scenes.
Angels of Venice
Angels of Venice from Music for Harp, Flute and Cello. Classical with 3 instruments with nature pictures.
“Spirit Vision,” (David & Steve Gordon. Serene and lovely contemporary Native American informed-drumming music utilizing Taos Log Drum and Incan Pan along with other instruments and ocean/forest nature scenes.
Aneal & Bradfield from Light & Love. Reflective but strong contemporary music utilizing various instruments and occasional humming voices with colorful oscillating fractals
Spa Relaxing Music
Tranquil contemporary instrumental with piano and a fixed candle light.
Relaxation Music: 1-Hour Meditation Candle
Serene contemporary instrumental with piano and one flickering candle.
Dan Gibson. Nature sounds and instrumental, tranquil sleep music.
Marconi Union. The sounds on this video are carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines that help slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and lower levels of the cortisol stress hormone.
HERE IS A PLAYLIST OF THE 10 SONGS FOUND TO BE THE BEST MUSIC TO CALM ANXIETY, INCLUDING ONE WHERE SCIENTISTS WITNESSED A 65% REDUCTION IN PARTICIPANTS’ OVERALL ANXIETY, AND STRESS.
Each and every one of us have tried at last a few different techniques to combat stress or anxiety in our lives. It’s not only helpful with making you feel better overall, but finding ways to manage stress levels is important for your health too.
Thanks to modern research, we now know the harmful effects of stress on the body. Stress causes chemicals like cortisol to be released, and increases serious health risks like heart disease, obesity, depression, digestive problems, asthma, and many others. Additionally, there was a recent paper published out of Harvard and Stanford that discovered something rather troubling- “health issues from job stress alone cause more deaths than diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or influenza.”
So what’s the best way to take some of the pressure off? Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International says we should listen to music- more specifically, one special song.
A team of neuroscientists, which Dr. Lewis-Hodgson lead, conducted a study on sound therapy. Participants had to attempt to solve puzzles, which induced stress, with sensors attached to their bodies. They then had to listen to different songs while researchers measured and recorded their heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure.
ONE SONG STOOD OUT AMONG THE REST.
Weightless by Marconi Union was found to reduce levels of stress and anxiety by a whopping 65 percent, and produced a greater state of relaxation than any other music tested to date.
“‘Weightless’ was so effective, many women became drowsy and I would advise against driving while listening to the song because it could be dangerous,” said Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson.
What’s truly incredible is that Weightless was designed to do exactly that- reduce stress. Marconi Union, the group behind the song, worked together with sound therapists to create carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines, all for one purpose- to slow the listener’s “heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”
THE COMPLETE LIST OF THE TOP TEN SONGS TO LISTEN TO WHEN YOU WANT TO REDUCE STRESS AND ANXIETY CAN BE FOUND BELOW, AND WE’VE EVEN INCLUDED A PLAYLIST WITH ALL OF THEM TOGETHER.
10. “We Can Fly,” by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar)
9. “Canzonetta Sull’aria,” by Mozart
8. “Someone Like You,” by Adele
7. “Pure Shores,” by All Saints
6. “Please Don’t Go,” by Barcelona
5. “Strawberry Swing,” by Coldplay
4. “Watermark,” by Enya
3. “Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix),” by DJ Shah
2. “Electra,” by Airstream
1. “Weightless,” by Marconi Union
REMEMBER NOT TO LISTEN TO THIS WHILE DRIVING, OR DOING ANYTHING THAT COULD RESULT IN INJURY WITHOUT COMPLETE FOCUS.
Keep in mind, in order for stress to go away, you have to stop giving it so much attention. If you listen to these songs and are constantly thinking “This isn’t working,” or “I still feel stressed,” then they probably aren’t going to work as well for you. Take a breath, and just enjoy the music.
By Raven Fon Retrieved from http://unisoultheory.com/index.php/2016/12/30/relaxing-song-reduces-anxiety-stress/