We all know either first hand or by witnessing others melt down, that the holidays can be majorly stressful. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 38 percent of people said their stress level increases during the holidays. Another survey revealed that 53 percent of people feel financially stressed by holiday spending. For me, this year, has been more of a struggle than most due to my busy work schedule that has precluded me from taking vacation during the holiday. Because of this, I’ve not had the time that I’ve had in the past to plan out my family’s holiday. I haven’t done any shopping, just stocking stuffers. Luckily for me, my family is supportive and understanding. I tell you as I sit here writing this blog and listening to instrumental Christmas music, I am feeling pretty good. I am not feeling stressed and I believe it is partly due to the music.
Music can energize you when you are tired and relax you when you are stressed. It can make you laugh and even cry. There have been many studies that show how music affects the neurological system. One such study was done by psychologists from McGill University. The psychologists looked at the body’s neurochemical systems for reward, motivation and stress. They found that the effects of music can boost the body’s immune system, reduce anxiety and regulate your mood.
Researchers believe that listening to music may stimulate the release of natural opioids within the brain. Think about that for a minute. There are no negative or adverse side effects of this natural release, it’s essentially free, it’s natural and convenient.
Other studies show additional beneficial effects of music on health. It has been shown to reduce depression, alleviate sleep problems, slow heart rate, improve and eliminate stress and some have even used music to help with recovering after a stroke.
Listening to music has many wonderful health benefits. You might want to consider turning up your favorite tunes to prevent you from reacting negatively to the inevitable holiday. And if you find yourself dancing to the music, consider that an added bonus!