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Stress: Relieved Through Music


Submitted By skytoofly
Words 1535
Pages 7
Sky Stephanopoulos
Professor Jake Edwards
Fall 2013
Assignment 4

Stress: Relieved Through Music

Stress affects millions of people in the world every day. However, many people seem to ignore the fact that there are options out there to relieve your stress or at least keep your stress a little more under control and less over bearing. I myself am a guitarist, I play guitar on a daily basis and even more when I am stressed out, it calms and relaxes me and helps take my mind off of anything that may be causing me stress. This lead to the realization that music is a great stress reliever, not only playing music, but listening to music also seems to relieve stress. Music can provide a good mental distraction, allowing you to focus on the music rather than anything that may be going on in your head at the moment. Music can also have many other internal effects on your body such as slowing your pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones in your body. No matter what way you look at it, music helps people, not always in the same way, but it does help in one form or another. Music is able to distract people, it’s able to help your mind wander into other thoughts and avoid the constant strain that everyday issues in life cause people. “As music can absorb our attention, it acts as a distraction at the same time it helps to explore emotions. This means it can be a great aid to meditation, helping to prevent the mind wandering.” (Collingwood) This quote from the article by Jane Collingwood goes to show that music can be a good distraction, or it can even aid in focusing on something more clearly. However, everyday people are burdened with worries; worries about money, worries about relationships, and even worries about one’s family. Music is able to act as a release from it all, it allows you to forget about the current situation you may be in and it lets you get caught up in the music. Seeing as I play music on a day to day basis for that exact reason; whenever I am stressed out I pick up my guitar and play, I play many different types of music depending on how I am feeling at that moment, sometimes I will play John Mayer to just jam out and have fun, or ill play some Jack Johnson to just relax and mellow out, and I’ll even play some Sublime or Bob Marley to get that reggae vibe. The different types of music I play depend overall on the current mood that I’m in, where I be in a confident and happy mood and just play to jam out and have fun, or if I’m stressed and am playing as a release. The have also been many surveys that people have done to receive opinions as to what types of music or songs are better. “What songs are the most soothing? We asked our Huff/Post50 Facebook fans about their favorite stress-busting songs -- and we were inundated with answers.” (Emling) That quote from the article by Emling goes to show that people are very quick to put in their views on what songs are the most soothing, allowing us to see that the songs they name are obviously being named because they are soothing to themselves. Even if you aren’t able to play an instrument yourself you are still about to listen to music regardless, that is what music, in my opinion, is for. It’s a release, a getaway, something people can relate their lives to. There’s enough songs, and different types of music floating around that it isn’t hard to find something to help you deal with your current situation, something you can relate to, or even something complete unrelated that can turn your thoughts toward that subject and even brighten you up by taking your mind off of what is going on and causing you stress. Music is an overall great thing in more ways than just acting as a distraction for your mind. Music does more than effect your emotional well-being; it can also positively impact your physiological well-being. According to the Mayo Clinic, music can also relieve muscle tension as said in their article, “Listening to or playing music is a good stress reliever because it provides a mental distraction, reduces muscle tension and decreases stress hormones. Crank up the volume and let your mind be absorbed by the music.” (Clinic) Music is used along with many types of exercise, listening to fast paced and upbeat music when you’re on a run may cause you to push yourself, allowing you to get a more rewarding run then say running to no music as all. Nowadays music is used for many other types of fitness exercises, Zumba being one of the big ones that everyone seems to be doing lately and people seem to be highly satisfied with what it does for them. Many famous sports athlete’s listen to their fast and upbeat playlists before a game or before working out to get pumped and get ready for the game. I find listening to fast paced music before or during workouts is the best, it definitely keeps me in the mood to work out and push myself, probably a lot harder than I would If I wasn’t listening to music at the time. Also, listening to calming or less upbeat music while coming down from a workout or slowing down aids in controlling your heart beat and slowly bringing it down to comfortable levels and relaxes you. Music and stress, in my opinion, go hand in hand. Even internally music can aid in lowering your stress levels causing you to be healthier physically as well as the previous mentioned benefits to your mental health. “Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, especially slow, quiet classical music. This type of music can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.” (Collingwood) Collingwood explains that music is beneficial, in every way that I have stated. She states that the quiet and slow classical music helps our physiological well-being, like heart rate, blood pressure and, for the main purpose of this paragraph, the levels of stress hormones in our bodies. Our levels of stress hormones in our bodies are very important, clearly, the higher the levels of stress hormones found in our body means the more stressed out we actually are. Lowering these levels through music therapy and just listening to music in general can be very rewarding and very satisfying to one who spends most of their time worried or stressed out about the trivial everyday occurrences that happen throughout our day to day lives. Collingwood’s article is very helpful on this subject; she even goes to give ways to incorporate music in your life. “To incorporate music into a busy life, try playing CDs in the car, or put the radio on when in the bath or shower. Take portable music with you when walking the dog, or put the stereo on instead of the TV.” (Collingwood) Jane Collingwood lists all sorts of different ways that you could possible go about incorporating music in what you do on an everyday basis. It is actually very easy to listen to music at some point of your everyday life, whether it is driving to work, or cleaning the house, you can listen to music doing almost any kind of activity. Music relieves stress; there is no doubt in my mind about that. If anyone is feeling overly stressed out then they need to listen to or even play music themselves if they want to learn an instrument. Music has been around for a while, from Native Americans playing instruments around the fire, to electronic artists mixing music in the current scene. Everyone knows what music is and has their own different tastes in music. Stress release through music is real, I’ve always believed this myself, however I learned much more through my sources that I found as I was researching this very topic. Music aids in so much with our everyday tasks, music can lower our blood pressure, lower our heart rate, reducing the levels of stress hormones found in your body, and also allow for a calming release from our everyday struggles and the things that we have to deal with throughout our lives. Overall I found through my research and studying of this topic that stress can easily be maintained and kept under control simply by just listening to music, any type of music will work fine, it all just depends on your preference and the kind of music that you prefer to listen to. Overall, if you want to relieve your stress and live a more rewarding and stress free life, just fit some time to listen to music into your schedule, it will make you overall happier, more relaxed, and definitely healthier in the long run.

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