Have you ever had a stressful day that lingers around? How do you cope? What are some of the methods that you implement to release tension? For many, the arts are key contributors to shifting the atmosphere from negativity to positivity. In fact, many people draw the strength to persevere through each day and to conquer the obstacles which they confront through such forms of art as the music to which they listen as music is able to help provide them with the knowledge that they are not alone and that there are others who have gone through similar situations and have found the passion to persevere or are holding on despite being through similar hardships. Additionally, the arts have the power to heal and can help listeners to reduce their levels of stress which may otherwise inhibit all realms of their health.
Strength from the Arts
According to many research studies, stress is a major contributor to illness and disease. Stress originates in the brain and quickly transfers to every cell within the human body. Among some of the effects of stress are increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Stress is also considered to be a contributor of muscle tension. Music has helped offset some of the negative effects of stress by decreasing the cortisol level within the body. While cortisol is beneficial to the body in adequate amounts, an overabundance of this stress hormone may cause people to develop such problems as headaches, heart disease, and sleeping disorders. Additionally, music has been attributed to assisting in the generating of neurotransmitters which can help the body to feel rested. Consequently, music is beneficial in alleviating mild and chronic stress.
When the day seems daunting and long,
I can always depend on a faithful song
To bring me strength,
To guide me through,
To lift my spirits and help me renew.
There is no doubt that stress can take a toll on emotional health. People undergoing significant stress may feel less apt to handle the circumstances with which they are presented and may lack effectiveness in the communication process with others. This may make them feel like they are defeated and misunderstood in society. The arts help provide strength by letting people know that they are not alone and that there is hope for them as others have gone through similar situations and have been able to overcome their hardships. In addition, through the relatedness which the arts provide, people may find themselves building and engaging in more effective social connections.
The arts help people build inner strength by encouraging them to search their souls to discover their motivations and pursue their passions. They also help guide them through life’s journeys by giving them the strength to be their true selves.
One of the main advantages of music with regards to the effects of stress on mental health is its ability to ease depression and anxiety. Music has been recognized for its ability to release endorphins which, in conjunction with the brain, help people to feel more confident in their abilities to conquer fear and overcome their struggles, as they promote optimism and reduce the feeling of pain. Music also helps people relax and, at times, enter a meditative state of being. While music may provide a much needed distraction, it also has the capability of making people feel more mentally alert and ready to confront their obstacles. It is important to recognize that the environment in which you listen to the music, the volume of the music, and the enjoyment of the music are major contributing factors as to how effective the music will be in the reduction of stress.
- #thatPOWER – Will.i.am ft. Justin Bieber
- Drift Away – John Henry Kurtz
- I’ve Got the Music in Me – Heart
- In A Song – Hunter Hayes
- Superheroes – The Script
Moves us: It penetrates into our souls.
Understands: It helps us feel validated and not alone.
Supports: It encourages us to be ourselves.
Inspires: It gives us hope and lifts our spirits.
Comforts: It makes us feel safe and provides us with reassurance when we are in our darkest moments.
Builds: It contributes to our physical, mental, emotional, and soulful well-being.
Unites: It opens the pathway to effective communication.
Informs: It shows us the approaches that some have taken to overcome their obstacles and teaches us how to persevere through powerful lyrics.
Listens: It helps us to listen to our inner being and see ourselves more clearly.
Drives: It gives us a sense of purpose and confidence, as well as motivates us to endure our journeys.
Stimulates: It helps us to let go of the past and live in the moment; additionally, it provides stimulus for neural activity.
Sifts: It helps us sort through our emotions and assists us in recognizing who we are, where we’re going and why we feel the way we do.
Turns: It can change our attitudes, thoughts, and feelings, as well as transform negative energy into positive energy.
Relates: It connects us with others who have faced the same or similar obstacles, and it provides us a way to identify with artists’ experiences through lyrics and sound.
Expresses: It helps us realize our freedom to express ourselves and gives us a way to release our emotions and thoughts.
Nourishes: It is food to our soul, as it helps us to feel energized and renewed.
Gives: It allows us to temporarily escape from the pressures of life and regain our momentum.
Transcends: It breaks down walls and crosses boundaries because it is not constrained by expectations.
Helps: It helps us to overcome and live victoriously, as it assists us in developing a positive can-do attitude.