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Beating Stress with the Beat of Music

Imagine you’ve just had an incredibly bad day at school or work. On the way home, traffic’s heavier than usual even if you’ve taken the supposedly faster route. It’s already past dinner time when you reach home and your housemates are either asleep or still stuck in traffic somewhere. Utterly hungry but too exhausted to eat, you race upstairs and pop your favorite jazz compilation on the CD player.

Still dressed in messed-up uniform or work clothes, you close your eyes as the soothing harmony of music somehow dissolves the worries and anxieties that have pestered you all day. It is very much like taking a pleasurable warm shower and feeling the dirt on your body wash down the drain.

Though anecdotes like this have been recounted a myriad of times, you still wonder what about music can effortlessly pacify stressed-out souls. Listening to certain kinds of music has the ability to ease, though temporarily, the tension we feel regardless of the cause.

But is the calming effect of music purely psychological or does it really have a medical basis?

Music has always been part of our lives. Safe and cradled inside the womb, we probably heard the first music: our mother’s heart beat. According to a website on music therapy, some experts believe that as we grow older, we identify good music with something soothing and beneficial to our well being, associating it with the steady and reassuring rhythm of the heart beat.

No wonder we instantly feel relaxed and lulled to sleep when listening to slow and classical music. In the past, there had been several researches and studies which zeroed in on the effectiveness of music in alleviating a patient’s anxiety before undergoing surgery and other stress-inducing procedures. It has also been noted that adults and kids who fear visiting the dentist would have an easier time having their tooth extracted if music is played. In this case, music acts as a distraction. Instead of fidgeting over a dreaded situation doing nothing, you can do yourself a favor and listen to stress-relieving music and get absorbed with its lyrics and rhythm.

Music, whether mellow or upbeat, has the ability to take our mind off our worries and stress.

Have you ever tried listening to music at work and somehow paperwork and deadlines don’t seem too overwhelming anymore? Though stress cannot be completely eradicated, it can be reduced to manageable levels.

Since everyone experiences stress in varying levels, music is beneficial to all. And listening to music has additional boon for diabetics. People with this disease have difficulty producing insulin making it hard for the liver and cells to absorb sugar. Some Indian gurus believe music, specifically classical, can stimulate the proper functioning of blood sugar activity in liver and cells. For this, there are CD compilations available in the market made especially for diabetics. But ordinary CDs which include preferred songs of a patient would do wonders as well.

Just like food, music has a vast selection and everyone has his or her own preferences. Though classic or instrumental is often perceived to be the only truly soothing type of music, experts say fast songs are calming as well. For instance, a person who has grown accustomed to heavy metal music finds solace in listening to Nirvana and the like. Others may see it in a different light but for that person, it is his idea of relaxing music.

Bad, depressing days are inevitable. There would always be instances when our spirits are low and we need some cheering up. Hey, a weekend at a breathtaking beach resort is not your only option. The next best thing is only a few button clicks away. Can you hear the music playing?

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