Much has been told about the power of music, but not many people know much about the specifics. Here’s a close look into the psychological effects of music.
If you’ve ever watched a movie, you understand the intrinsic link between music and emotion. Composers and editors rely on your programming to add certain flourishes to a scene. They can do so reliably because of the underpinnings your mind has for rhythms and sounds.
To better understand the psychological effects of music, you need to understand both how your brain processes sound and why. Related to that is the way that music anchors portions of your memory and self-identifiers.
Before we get too far, know that music and sound aren’t interchangeable. Though it takes sounds to create music, music has emergent properties.
Read on to learn more about the way that the tones and tropes of music inspire, cajole, and center you.
Psychological Effects of Music
Without going into the heavy neuroscience, the main vector music uses to influence your mind is waves. Since the electrical and chemical impulses that move through your mind also move in waves, it’s easy to see how these two waves can influence each other.
Not convinced? Consider how the deaf get the same effects out of music by feeling the vibrations even without ‘hearing’ the sounds.
The following items go over what is stimulated and how music interacts with key parts of your day to day functions. The next time someone asks you, “how does music affect mental health?” you will have a wealth of answers.
Mood and Motivation
As indicated in the example of movies, music has the ability to affect mood and shape your emotional impulses. Part of this is controlled by temp.
The faster the beat, the more it is likely to send you into a state of excitement or readiness. A slow beat sets you up to relax and to simply be in the moment. Sudden, intense sounds spike anxiety and fear.
These responses come from your evolutionary history where natural sounds dictated the backdrop of day to day life.
Calm and quiet meant the lack of predators and the safety of space. Lots of noise indicated activity from others in the tribe. Sudden noises meant danger.
You tap into those states by engaging with music that draws you towards the mood you seek or wish to maintain.
Focus and Cognition
Another way music affects the mind is by occupying a myriad of sensory processes you aren’t aware of. The mind is always looking for new information and working to process any stimuli it finds.
The way music improves cognition is by limiting tiring aspects of looking for trouble. When you hear music unrelated to your current tasks, it fills up the space your mind normally takes to scout for problems.
With the mind not draining your battery looking for nothing, you are better able to focus on a single task.
Couple this with music that puts you in your study mood (either passive or active, depending) and you have a massive brain boost.
Better cognition helps to store information which helps with memory. This effect can be further boosted by listening to sounds that harmonize with your thoughts.
Listening to slightly out of synch sounds between your two ears creates a phenomenon known as binaural beats. How do binaural beats work? Good question, the short answer is that it syncs up brain waves to the frequency of the sounds hard, streamlining your chemical processes.
With your brainwaves traveling at a more regulated pace, you benefit from a type of feng shui. Your memory recall travels faster, loses less information, and comes up with better results.
Sometimes it’s hard to express yourself properly because emotions are rarely sorted into a single category.
The music you gravitate toward can help you understand more about how you are feeling in general. What music appeals to you is also interesting to the psychology music and field related to personality.
It also provides an outlet to explore emotional states safely.
Expressing emotions works much like any other muscle or mental exercise. The more of it that you do, the better you get at it.
Any outlet pro des a canvas to put a stamp on. The more music you listen to, the wider the palette you have to draw from. Even if you aren’t creating music itself, the adaptability and familiarity with emotions, tropes, and genres expands how you think.
This, in turn, broadens your ability to consider new ideas and create new concepts.
One way to utilize music to expand your creative horizon is to go against type. If you normally like to hear certain music when creating, try the opposite. See how the contrast changes the way you think and feel. This provides insight into new ways to tackle the same issues.
Lack of proper sleep impacts a lot of your day to day mental and emotional health. It also runs down your immune system and breaks down your metabolism. Poor sleep hasn’t been declared an epidemic yet, but it’s an enormous issue.
Three main problems affect your sleep: breathing, resting mental state, and abdominal weight. Music can’t help with the weight but it helps with the other two.
Listening to music with binaural beats or high in delta waves lulls your mind into a rhythm. This puts you further under, keeping you from waking up throughout the night. Your breathing also matches up to sounds.
Many people get less sleep than they think because of the number of times they wake up or nearly wake up through the night from anxiety and startling themselves awake through movement.
Feel, Vibrate, React
The great thing about the psychological effects of music is that you don’t have to understand it to enjoy it. Your body is a finely tuned machine that seeks out patterns and regulates effectively if given the space to do so.
Keeping yourself healthy and in =tune the world around you isn’t easy. Keep mindful and come back here for more insights into the power of the mind and your inner world.
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