Tune in to Music to Tone Down Anxiety
When anxiety shouts at you and makes a lot of noise, tune in to music to tone down anxiety. It’s a fact, based in scientific research and reported in numerous sources including HuffPost1 and Lifehack2, that listening to music can tone down anxiety (Music Therapy For Treatment Of Anxiety Disorders).
Why Tuning in to Music Tones Down Anxiety
Anxiety is deeply rooted in the brain. When researchers use imaging tests such as the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan to see how the brain processes and reacts to information, they can see how anxiety impacts the brain. Nearly every part of the brain is involved in the experience of anxiety, including but not limited to:
- The neocortex, the area of higher-order thinking and cognitive processing
- The limbic system, the area responsible for emotion
- The reptilian area, the survival/fight-or-flight center of the brain
- The amygdala
- The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis
- The hippocampus
- The brain stem
- The lateral septum
Neurotransmitters and hormones kick in and perpetuate and intensify anxiety. With anxiety so deeply rooted, no wonder life with anxiety can feel overwhelming. However, tuning in to music can significantly tone down anxiety because music washes over and through the entire brain, its sounds waving through every region and structure and meeting anxiety where it is.
How Tuning in to Music Tones Down Anxiety
When we listen to music, our brain is affected positively on many levels. Music dances into the brain and does the following:
- Stimulates the release of the feel-good hormone dopamine
- Lowers the amount of the stress hormone cortisol
- Reduces blood pressure
- Regulates heart rates
Music meets anxiety where it lives. Listening to music positively impacts the brain and in doing so reduces anxiety. There are different types of anxiety disorders, and all anxiety has multiple effects on our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Tuning in to music helps tone down all types of anxiety and improves its negative effects. I invite you to tune in to the below video to discover some specific ways to make music work to reduce your own anxiety.
Ways To Tune Into Music And Reduce Anxiety
NCC, T. (2016, February 25). Tune in to Music to Tone Down Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2016/02/tune-in-to-music-to-tone-down-anxiety
Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
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