Why and How Music Aids Relaxation
By Elizabeth Scott, M.S.
Music Relaxation: Music and Stress Management
With all the ways music affects your body, you can probably already clearly see how music can be used as an effective relaxation and stress management tool. In addition to the many physical changes that music can bring (which I list in this article on music and music therapy), music is especially helpful in relaxation and stress management because it can be used in the following ways:
- Music and Physical Relaxation: Music can promote relaxation of tense muscles, enabling you to easily release some of the tension you carry from a stressful day (or week).
- Music as an Aid in Stress Relief Activities: Music can help you get ‘into the zone’ when practicing yoga, self hypnosis or guided imagery, can help you feel energized when exercising, help dissolve the stress when you’re soaking in the tub, and be a helpful part of many other stress relief activities. It can take an effective stress reliever and make it even more effective!
- Music and a Meditative State: As mentioned before, music can help your brain get into a meditative state, which carries wonderful stress relief benefits with it. For those who find meditation intimidating, music can be an easier alternative.
- Music to Promote a Positive Focus: Music, especially upbeat tunes, can take your mind off what stresses you, and help you feel more optimistic and positive. This helps release stress and can even help you keep from getting as stressed over life’s little frustrations in the future.
- Music and Affirmations: The way you see the world and the type of self talk you habitually use can also have a profound effect on your stress level, which is why positive affirmations that create more positive self talk are so helpful. Music that has affirming lyrics can bring the double benefit of music and positive affirmations, helping you to surround yourself with positive energy and more often look on the bright side, letting stressful events more easily roll off your back.