Did you know that music is the only sensory experience that can activate all the areas of your brain at one time? The brain experiences stimulation in many different parts when you’re listening to music. This can help to build new neuropathways.
Now that we know about brain plasticity, the ability to create new pathways in the brain is important because it affects our behavior.
If you strengthen stress pathways in the brain it encourages you to continue in that behavior. But new pathways can help you change. Neural pathways are the underlying foundation of your thoughts, the way you feel things, the way you act and your habits of thinking.
One of the benefits of using music to influence brain function is that it is non-invasive. Not only can music therapists easily use music with their patients, but you can use music in ways that benefit you at home. If you’re trying to relax it’s good to know that music can have a strong influence on many different parts of your brain.
Music also has a physical effect on your body. When you listen to slower tempo music it helps to relax your muscles and release the tension which may be adding to your stress.
Another interesting fact about music and relaxation is that there are studies showing the exact beat per minute that helps you relax. Music at 60 beats per minutes can help your brain to synchronize with the beats that cause alpha brainwaves and this is the brainwave that is existing when you’re relaxed yet still conscious.
If you listen to music that’s around 60 beats per minute for up to 45 minutes in the evening this can help you to get to sleep. If you want to try this, choose a comfortable place to sit or lie down and choose calm music. You’ll preferably want to select music that appeals to you. If you like the music and it’s calming then you probably won’t need to worry about whether it is 60 beats per minute. It needs to be comforting and calming for it to work. If you don’t like the music then you’re going to be distracted by it in a bad way and it won’t help you relax.
Music can be used at any time of the day or night to help you relax. And if you’re using it at work or when you’re out and about there’s always the option to use headphones. Music offers you so many options and can be adapted to each person’s preferences. Now that you know how music affects your brain and body go ahead and find out what suits you best.