Neurological studies of the way in which music influences our brain show that we are hard-wired to respond to a melody emotionally. For example, 5-month-old babies promptly respond to upbeat songs, and, reaching the age of 9 months, are already able to recognize and appropriately react to sad ones.
The older we grow, the more intense our psychological reaction to music gets. Lively, usually up-tempo and major-key music can make us breathe faster. That is a physical sign of happiness.
Sad, typically minor-key music likewise slows down our heartbeat and causes a blood pressure increase. Although this doesn’t sound that optimistic, everyone must be familiar with the cleansing power of tears. Music releases the feelings we have hidden deep down and relieves emotional strain.
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Should we even mention music and singing having long been used in medicine to prevent a number of illnesses, to relieve pain, for therapy and patients’ overall well-being? Music strengthens people’s immune system after operations, reduces stress levels in pregnant women, lowers arterial pressure and heart rate in cardiac patients.
The researchers from the California State University discovered that during musical therapy children in hospital were happier playing with maracas and bells than playing with toys or jigsaw puzzles.
However, you don’t necessarily have to be ill to experience the cheer that music and singing bring. Karaoke can become the biggest joy booster since it not only reduces stress and releases endorphins but also builds and reinforces social connections. When you have a company where everyone likes the same things as you, you can make friends, get to know interesting people, share your love for music and be open to everyone.
However, it’s important to point out that too much music can be… well, too exciting for you. Since music activates the brain reward system, it may become an addiction never to be sated. So from time to time, you should put away karaoke microphones and turn off the music on your smartphone. Then, maybe, your favourite song will remain as stunning as it is and will stir your emotions again.