4 Benefits of music for your mental health

Some like fast-paced songs, others like romantic numbers. Everyone has a type of music that they like to listen to. Well, it doesn’t just provide you entertainment, it may benefit your mental health. A new study has revealed that learning a musical instrument like the piano might actually help to deal with mental health problems. So, it might not be such a bad idea to pick up the instrument and take some music lessons. If piano is not your thing, you can also just sit and listen to your favourite music. An expert said that even listening to music affects your mental health in a good way.

How music affects your mental health?

Researchers at the University of Bath published a new study that showed the positive impact of learning to play a musical instrument on the brain’s ability to process sounds and sights. It also demonstrated how it can also help to get rid of the blues.

The findings published in the academic journal Nature Scientific Reports, showed how beginners who took up piano lessons for one hour a week for 11 weeks reported significant improvements in recognising audio-visual changes in the environment. They also reported less depression, anxiety and stress.

To understand the connection between piano playing and mental health, Health Shots reached out to clinical psychologist Aishwarya Raj.

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Listening to classical music helps the mind to concentrate. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Playing piano may change the brain in a positive way

Piano stimulates the brain in a way that no other activity can do, shared Raj. While playing a musical note on the keyboard, you are adding new neural connections. This primes your brain for different forms of communication. Playing a piano has a lot of benefits, which includes improving your memory, your brain speed, sharpening your concentration, decreasing your stress and much more.

Music is good for mental health

Going by research, music can have a beneficial effect on brain signals such as dopamine, said the expert. It is linked to feelings of pleasure, and oxytocin, which is called the love hormone. Raj noted that there is also a moderate sign that music can help to decrease levels of the stress hormone, which is called cortisol.

1. Music helps to improve your focus on work or studies

There are many genres of music and you must be having a favourite. But according to Raj, there have been a number of studies that show that listening to classical music helps the mind to concentrate. She shared that music with a tempo of 60 beats per minute helps to increase the brain’s ability to process information and thoughts.

2. Music helps you express thoughts and emotions

Sometimes, you don’t have to say anything, you just need to play a song as music is a wonderful way of expressing your thoughts and emotions without saying a word. Music is considered to be the best non-verbal way of expressing thoughts and emotions that are too complex to say to someone.

Music helps to relax. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Music helps in lifting up the mood

When you are feeling sad or low, play uplifting songs as it can have an influence on the brain. They stimulate it to increase feel-good hormones. They finally help to lift up our mood.

4. Music helps to relax

Peaceful sounds of piano, music, nature or string-instruments often help to make us feel relaxed. The expert said that calming music has an emotional effect on us, which helps in “improving our mood and inducing relaxation of both the mind and body.”

Keeping these benefits in mind, push the play button and start listening to your favourite songs.

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