Music Makes You Happier

The idea that music can contribute to your happiness is something we probably all know intuitively. There are studies out now that conclusively prove the co-relation between listening to music and happiness which in turn contributes to much better health, especially in relation to cardio-vascular health.

I caught a news report on TV about these studies just now and decided it was a great time to bring this forward in our quest for happiness. It seems that studies show that listening to music relaxes stress and opens arteries and the like. That has the effect of reducing the impacts of negative stress. It has the effect of taking us out of ourselves and our immediate worries. It helps us to allow our subconscious to promote within us the reality that where we are right now is not permanent and all pervasive (concepts that lead us to depression often). Endorphins and that sort of thing get generated and released into our system when we listen to music.

So, … what sort of music should we listen to? Do we need to listen to classical music to get the best effects? What if we really like to listen to rock music, will that work or does it lead us to be more stressed because of the upbeat tempo? Interestingly, the studies have shown that it does not really matter that much what music we listen to as long as for us it is music that makes us feel great. If Brahms makes you feel great, listen to it (if it makes you feel bored or restless or fidgety, don’t listen to it for relaxation and diversion). If head-banging music makes you feel great, go for it! Music, apparently is like art. The beauty is in the ear of the beholder.

I will add a personal caution that just makes sense though. Always keep in mind that what we are putting into ourselves is what will come out in time of stress and challenge. If we are filling ourselves with messages of hate or violence, that is what becomes our response to situations and it will certainly not lead to happiness. Violent Rap music is weakening. Uplifting and positive Rap music is strengthening. Yes the words are important. Pay attention and listen to uplifting music and songs.

Another thing that just makes good sense to me is that the music you listen to will have an impact on your mood and relaxation levels. If you are going to be retiring to bed soon and you are listening to heavy duty rock and roll, you will likely be a bit wound up with enthusiasm and be less able to get to sleep. Rather, as you get ready to think about going to sleep, and you want to listen to some music (or even read or watch a TV show) think about making choices that will calm the spirit and put you in a better frame of mind to drift into a restorative and deep sleep. More about getting ready to sleep another time.

Music is great. Don’t inflict your choices on others unless it is desired by the others. Keep the volume within reason so you do not damage your hearing (watch the volume on your personal headphones and ear-buds!). But, by all means, plug in and listen to more music. Whatever kind you enjoy and makes you feel great and/or relaxed.

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