Most people know that listening to music can calm the mind. But did you know that it also has a physiological effect on your body. If you choose to listen to slow or quiet music it can help to slow down your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. One type of music that is often good for this purpose is classical music.
By having an effect on these physiological functions in your body you can use music to help you relax. Listening to music in this way has also been shown to decrease your levels of stress hormones such as cortisol.
If you’re a busy person and you’re trying to find new ways to relax, music is useful because you can use it while doing other tasks. If you’re the type of person who get frustrated and it feels like you’re wasting time by engaging in relaxation exercises then music may be your answer.
Try to include slow and relaxing music in the car while you’re driving. Even if you’re not a fan of classical music, give it a go for relaxation purposes. It’s easy to try while you’re driving.
And if you go to the gym or take your dog for a walk, consider listening to classical music at the same time. Of course, it depends on what you’re doing at the gym because you may want to pump yourself up with high energy music rather than relaxing. If you need to spend time waiting for an appointment try wearing your headphones and listening to classical music while you wait. There are plenty of opportunities during the day when you can experiment with calming music.
If you have trouble getting to sleep at night because your thoughts are racing then you may want to use music to initiate the relaxation response. For this purpose you may want to try something other than classical music. If you have some favorite songs that are familiar and produce a comforting feeling for you, then these would be suitable before bedtime.
Once you find which music suits you best, you’ll be able to use it readily as a stress management tool regularly during the day or save it just for times of high stress. At least you’ll be ready with your own personalized relaxation strategy. And if you think music isn’t really helping you to de-stress then try experimenting with something completely different. Music from another culture may be good for this.