In modern life psychological stress has become a common problem for every individual. There are many causes for stress that one experiences, sometimes it is due to workload, and sometimes it’s due to family matters. Just like everything else, stress also has its positive and negative sides. Sometimes stress helps individuals to accomplish tasks or activate one’s energy, but also it is very harmful to both physical and mental health. Emotional sufferings due to stress may lead one to unhealthy lifestyles such as drug usage and sometimes it may lead to even suicide. After all, stress being a big problem, its medicine or remedy is very simple and it is affordable. Yes, we are talking about music here. There is no one on this planet who doesn’t like to sing or hum even a single note. So, in this blog, we are going to discuss music and its effectiveness in stress relief.
Firstly, let us just discuss how music originated. Frankly, the origin of music is unknown since it occurred prior to recorded history. If we talk about human music, we may believe that music originated from the sounds that humans heard from nature. Scientists are saying that music is likely to have been present in the ancestral population prior to the dispersal of humans. So, it is believed that the first music might be invented in Africa. The oldest known song was written 3400 years ago and it is written in cuneiform. If we trace the human history, music shows the development of the human race at different periods of time. The usage of musical instruments are great evidence for that. The oldest musical instrument ever discovered is the Divje Babe flute, a flute that is made out of the bone of a cave bear. At some points, we may have to believe that music and language both evolved out of the need to express the emotional state of one person to another or to a group. When our ancestors started to live as a group, music became a part of their culture.
The word “music” is derived from the Greek word mousike, which means the art of muses. According to Greek mythology, there are nine muses who are the goddesses of literature, science, and art, and they are considered as the source of knowledge that embodies poetry, song-lyrics, and myths. When it comes to Egyptian culture, god Thoth is the deity who is associated with the invention of music. These acts of associating gods with music show how precious music was to people. Music was their major tool of worshiping god. Today we cannot think about a world without music or in other words, music has become one of the inevitable factors of our lives. And now we shall move towards our main topic, shall we….
The human brain and nervous system have the ability to differentiate between music and noises and also to respond to rhythm, tunes, and tones. We are still unknown whether it is a biological accident or does it serve any purposes. Music therapy is one of the main treatments which make use of this ability of the brain and nervous system. As the name suggests, the major tool of music therapy is the music itself. Music therapy is so effective that it can regulate our emotions and decrease stress. Music therapy is also used for the treatment of different consequences of stress such as anxiety, depression, and physical pain. The way in which music reduces stress is by reducing the level of a stress hormone called cortisol.
Other than relief from stress, music has several other health benefits also. When you are listening to music or playing music, your body increases the production of an antibody named immunoglobulin A and natural killer cells. These killer cells are the one which attack any invading viruses that enter in your body, and thus increasing your immune system’s effectiveness. Music therapy is extremely beneficial in regulating negative emotions, which is a result of psychological stress.
Now these days, insomnia – a disorder in which one having a very hard time of falling asleep or staying asleep – is becoming a common problem for everybody. Music is pretty much effective when it comes to the treatments of insomnia. Since music has a direct impact on a human’s parasympathetic nervous system, it helps you to relax and provide a longer and deeper sleep and enables you to wake up with no hangovers. As we all know that there are several pharmaceutical and other prescribed treatments for insomnia, music is much more affordable and it is something that every individual can do on their own. Present studies are showing that music therapy is helpful in cancer treatment along with other major treatments for cancer. Music influences the patient’s mental state in a good manner and which may increase the chances of recovering from cancer.
Along with the above-mentioned diagnostic treatments music has other benefits in our daily lives, which are;
- It improves your mood
- Helps in enhancing aerobic exercises
- Helps in improving your memory
- Helps to ease physical pain, etc.
If I ask you a question that why do we love music, there will be a number of answers that you may come up with. But the most important of them would be that music expresses emotion and soul. Every music embodies an emotion that it wants to convey. And that’s why the music preferred by each individual is different from one another. Some people like melodies, some love jazz, some love Metallica, some love fast songs and some love classics. You can tell so much about a person just by looking at their playlist. Music is everywhere you look at, if you have a heart to accept it. There exists music in nature. We all are familiar with Carnatic music, India’s own musical culture. The swaras of this musical form are actually derived from nature itself. The seven swaras in Carnatic music are Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Da and Ni. Where;
Sa; the rapturous sound of peacocks when there are rain clouds in the sky.
Ri; the bellow of a cow when its calf is separated from her.
Ga; the bleating of a goat.
Ma; the cry of heron.
Pa; the sound of nightingale during spring.
Da; the whiney of a horse.
Ni; the trumpeting of elephants.
As you can see music can come from anywhere, what you need is only a heart to focus and accept. There is music within every individual. Even the heartbeats are also a musical. Just find some time and concentrate on yourselves and find your inner music. Life is music, that’s why our heart has beats.