Singing for Health
Posted by Kimber Harding
November 30, 2016
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Written by Maggie Spicer:
Thanksgiving has passed and the holidays are finally in full
swing. Whether you find yourself bursting with holiday spirit or feeling like the
Grinch, there is one holiday tradition no one can escape: the music. Beginning
in November, holiday harmonies become unavoidable – streaming through our car
speakers, grocery stores and even elevators. Although at times this can be
tiring, it turns out that you might just need to sing along! Research is
many benefits of singing for our mental, physical and social health.
Melodies for Your Mental Health
For most people, the holidays are a particularly stressful
time of year. Between family feuds, tiring travels and mob-filled-malls it can
be hard not to feel a little down. However, singing a joyful tune can help
improve your mental health – no matter what time of year! Here are just a few
ways harmonizing can benefit your brain:
Feelings of Happiness and Well-Being: When you sing your brain
produces a variety of pleasure-inducing neurochemicals including endorphins,
dopamine and serotonin.
- Boost Brain
Power: Studies show that singing exercises
your brain in many ways, including improving memory. It is even being
studied as a therapy for individuals with dementia.
Belt It Out for Your Body
It probably didn’t surprise you that music is good for your
mental health. But did you know that singing can improve your physical health
too? Music has been used in healing rituals and therapy throughout history and emerging
research is backing these techniques up. Singing can help:
- Improve Immune
System: The reduction of stress and anxiety caused by singing also
immune system function and reduces inflammation.
- Reduce Blood Pressure:
Singing or listening to music has been found to aid in reducing blood
pressure by calming patients.
Shout for Your Social Health
Not only can singing improve your mental and physical
health, it also benefits your social health! Music has brought humans together
for tens of thousands of years. Whether you are belting it out at karaoke,
jamming around the campfire, or crooning a lullaby, singing helps you connect with
others. But that’s not the only way singing improves social health – here are a
- Builds Bonds: Not
only does singing help your brain create endorphins, it also produces oxytocin.
This chemical increases
feelings of trust, while decreasing feelings of loneliness.
Empathy: Music activates the areas in our brain that help
us understand what others are thinking and feeling.
While there is clear evidence that singing is great for your
health, you might still feel a little apprehensive about lifting up your voice.
But remember, you don’t need to be a professional to experience the benefits of
bursting into song. If you need a little more encouragement, check out this
TEDxSaltLakeCity talk by Brian Manternach – and get singing!
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