Aural Relaxation: Stop the Stress with Music Therapy

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Research has proven that music therapy can be an effective anxiety-reliever, making it a commonly utilized treatment by healthcare and psychiatric professionals. Music has the power to soothe the stressed-out by lowering blood pressure, regulating breathing and heart rate, and can even slow down or speed up brain waves.

Read below about 6 ways music therapy can uplift or calm a worried mind, relax a tense body and bring peace to anyone in need of some serenity throughout the day.

 

1. Reduce Road Rage—

Many people commute to and from work, which can be a constant source of stress and anger, thanks to congested traffic and distracted drivers.

Playing music during a drive can distract us from the drudgery of travel and turn it into a source of pleasure.

Music helps by psychologically reframing the commute, turning a necessary-but-unpleasant daily event into what feels more like a fun activity, keeping the listener calm and less frustrated.

 

2. Increase Productivity—

Once you step out of your music therapy vehicle and head into the job, consider continuing to use this valuable method of relaxation once you reach your workspace.

If your employer allows music to be played at desks, cubicles, in kitchens, factories, retail establishments, or wherever you are employed, this has been shown to dramatically increase employee morale—and happy employees work harder.

Remember: A fast tempo will speed up brain waves to increase concentration, while a slow tempo promotes a tranquil state of mind.

 

3. Have a Musical Lunch—

Another way to use music therapy throughout your day is to play music during your lunch break. If you’ve had a rough morning, playing upbeat music with positive lyrics can get you back into a determined, go-getter mindset.

If you’re feeling anxious, mellow classical music or folksy acoustic tunes can calm you down enough to refocus and stay on-task for the rest of the day.

If your work’s break room doesn’t allow music, get into the habit of having lunch in your car where you can control the melodies and play exactly what you need to keep your mental state solid.

 

4. Play an Instrument—

In addition to listening to songs, playing music can be one of the most effective stress-relievers available.

Playing percussive instruments such as drums or bongos can be a great way to work out aggression or tension after a tough day.

Strumming a guitar or expressing emotions through songwriting can also be tremendously cathartic.

Harmonicas have proven helpful for music therapy because they are conducive to deep breathing, which naturally alleviates anxiety.

But don’t forget about the instrument everyone can play; the voice. Singing along to music can be wonderfully therapeutic, whether you consider yourself a good singer or not. If you’re self-conscious, sit somewhere secluded in the car, or wait until the house is empty, and sing the stress away.

 

5. Dinner Time Tunes—

Listening to music while preparing food can turn a nightly chore into a positively purifying process.

Sometimes after a long day, cooking dinner is the last thing in the world we feel like doing, but music can lift our spirits and revitalize this task.

Light, calming background music played during the meal can also soothe everyone at the table—just make sure it’s not loud enough to compete with conversation.

 

6. Musical Meditation—

Meditating to music can be done while sitting in a classic meditation pose with a visual focal point, lying comfortably on the floor with closed eyes, in a warm bath, or anywhere you feel the most relaxed.

Slow your breathing, and allow yourself to unwind until you are thinking about nothing but the music, clearing the mind and body of all anxiety and negativity.

 

Our hectic world, jobs and personal lives can often create chaos and inner turmoil, but living in a constant state of fear and worry can damage our physical and psychological health. Try to incorporate some of the music therapy techniques above into your day to release tension so you can stay healthy, happy and stress-free.

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