Music plays a vital role in our lives whether we realize it or not. It evokes powerful memories, moves our bodies, makes us sing, and creates special moments that otherwise would be far less vivid. Our days are constantly surrounded by the melody of life and it would seem that the only times we are really aware of it is when we seek it out.
You’ll walk into a building and hear a tune playing, somewhere in the background but aren’t really aware of it. So you continue on to the elevator where you press your thumb into the button and wait patiently to board. You get in and sit in tight lipped silence with only the familiar “Elevator Music” playing. We aren’t really even consciously aware that this soothing, soft music is playing, yet without it all we would hear is the rustling of hands in purses for kleenex, or the occasional clearing of a throat from an uncomfortable gentleman late for a meeting.
To seek music is to seek a type of art, but this type of art is something that has tremendous benefits for the mind, body, and spirit; for all people who have a mental or chronic illness. I have often spoken about doing things to help with our health and longevity; music plays a vital role in this and the entire world would agree. Cultures all over the world, both primitive and advanced, have their own style of music and dance. There are melodies from birth until death; and there has been since the dawn of man.
So what are all these health benefits? One of the biggest and most obvious benefits is it gets our bodies moving! Go to the gym and you see people running on treadmills and lifting weights, each one with their headphones in listening to music to help motivate and push their bodies further. The tempo sets a runner's pace and can lead to faster lap times, in yoga it can help to count your breaths. My grand daughter is in ballet and in tune with the music is stretching and twirling, moving about in a way that both expends energy and improves flexibility.
With all of this exercise to music comes the second best side effect: Stress and Anxiety Reduction. When we are moving our bodies and expending energy we are giving our brains essentially an injection of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that makes people happy. It’s important to find ways of chasing happiness and I never have as much fun anywhere as I do when I am able to go and dance with my husband. I am creating memories, listening to music of era’s gone by, exercising and loving life. All of these benefits and I am having so much fun doing it.
After a night of dancing and laughing we often come home exhausted and ready for bed. Being able to fall asleep is something that we have talked about in blogs past, but I wanted to touch on it for a moment to say that classical music is also known to help people fall asleep who have insomnia. This is a good, and natural, way to help get our bodies into a proper sleep cycle.
Music is so vital and so broad that it begs the question; What kind of music do you like? Do you listen to country western, or jazz? Symphony or rap? There are so many different kind of music and all with their own important part to play. Don’t limit yourself by just listening to one kind! You may find yourself moved by a genre of music that you had previously written off as “not my style”.
My dear friends, I sometimes think that we get so caught up in life that we forget that there is a Rhythm to it. I have said time and again how important it is to be healthy, but it is also essential to our well being to remember to be happy. Music brings us more happiness and overall well being than almost any other singular source of media out there. So turn on your radios, take off your shoes, and start to boogie in your own living room. I promise you that you’ll not be able to contain the smile that creeps upon your face and makes your heart race.