How Music Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety

How Music Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Music has been integrated into therapy as it has been identified to aid in numerous conditions. Listening to music assists people to feel at ease and relaxed.Since the times of ancient Greek,music has been applied to heal the body and the mind. In Native American culture,over 1500 songs are used for healing functions. One area that music therapy is often applied is on the military populations (Varona, 2018). During both WorldWar one and two, veterans who were suffering from physical and emotional trauma underwent through musical therapy. In today’s world, music therapy is accepted as an essential treatment for various physical and mental health conditions. It is used widely in hospitals,nursing homes,clinics, and schools to assist patients in relaxing the body and mind.

Scholars define it as an expressive therapy made up of a wide variety of music-related activities including;singing,playing musical instruments,listening and moving (dancing) to music. Listening to music aids in relieving anxiety(Cohen &Bodner, 2018). When one is under stress, their body experiences tension and tightness. Listening to music assists in facilitating the relaxation of the body. In fact, music therapy is always applied for progressive muscle relaxation to minimize anxiety.Not only is music beneficial in reducing anxiety, but also is a useful tool in reducing stress. Scientists have established that musichas a unique link to our emotions. It has a soothing power that is extremely effective as a stress managing tool. Just listening to music has a tremendously relaxing effect on our bodies and minds. Music, especially the slow, quiet classical type has a beneficial impact on the human physiological functions, minimizing the heart and pulse rate, reducing the levels of stress hormone and reducing the blood pressure(Varona, 2018).

Music, which is a great attention grabber assists in creating a distraction to the mental torture one is experiencing while under stress or when tensed. This makes it a great helper in meditation aiding the mind from wandering(Varona, 2018). A good example demonstrating how music can be therapeutically applicable is during a commute when one is experiencing road rage. Music relieves some of the tension one feels from the commute itself and the events of the day as they unfold during the travel. Also, in a situation where one is stuck in traffic, playing music helps one feel like they are wasting less time in traffic, creating a mood that makes one feel like they are enjoying and having a nice time to themselves. It takes the mind off from all the activities that one is to do once they arrive at their destination; hence one arrives more prepared and less stressed to undertake the duties that await them.

To include music into a busy life, various methods can be used such as playing CDs in the vehicle, putting the radio on when in the shower and taking portable music when walking. Majority of people have a tendency to avoid listening to music when they are much stressed. They view it as a waste of time that does not help in achieving anything. However, this is not the case as music has been proven to be an effective stress reliever and minimizes anxiety. People ought to add more music into their lifestyle and appreciate its role as a therapeutically driven solution.



Cohen, S., &Bodner, E. (2018) Music performance skills: A two-pronged approach – facilitating optimal music performance and reducing music performance anxiety. Psychology Of Music, 030573561876534. doi: 10.1177/0305735618765349

Varona, D. (2018). The Mindful Music Educator: Strategies for Reducing Stress and Increasing Well-Being. Music Educators Journal, 105(2), 64-71. doi: 10.1177/0027432118804035


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