Music is a wonderful phenomenon that manifests itself in various ways. It has played a significant role in the history and present of human cultures worldwide. Regardless of where one comes from, people respond to music in a universal manner.
It can trigger memories that were previously thought to be forgotten and rekindle a part of ourselves that we believed was lost. For instance, when listening to a song from the past, one can be transported back in time and recall the emotions of the moment.
The impact of music on the human mind is exclusive to our species. As music enthusiasts have long known, science has confirmed that listening to uplifting music can have a positive effect on one’s disposition. Therefore, music can function as a mood stabilizer, among other things.
Music and the emotional brain
From infancy, we have all been exposed to music in some form. Perhaps, even as a one-month-old, you were in a car ride when a song came on, causing you to squirm with excitement, or a slow, melancholic tune that lulled you to sleep.
Music has a profound impact on our brains, connecting with our emotions and influencing our mood. Listening to upbeat or calming music can evoke pleasant memories, enhancing our sense of happiness. As a result, our breathing may quicken, a physical manifestation of our emotional state, according to scientific research.
Sad or even angry music often triggers memories associated with those emotions. However, these emotions can result in physical reactions that are detrimental to our health, such as decreased blood pressure and heart rate.
In certain scenarios, music can serve as a form of therapy due to its ability to establish a profound connection with the brain, providing relief from pain. For instance, when an individual suffers from chronic pain, playing their preferred music can stimulate the body’s natural painkillers, known as opioids. It seems that music is emerging as a novel form of medicine.
Music therapy is also employed in cases where patients have weakened immune systems post-surgery or experience heart-related complications, as it can lower blood pressure and heart rate. Music therapy has also shown promise in reducing symptoms of depression, highlighting its potent impact on our well-being. The list of the benefits of music therapy could go on and on.
How music can have a massive effect on the brain
The human brain comprises approximately 86 billion interconnected neurons, with each neuron having around 10,000 connections. These connections are established through circuits that guide electrical activity throughout the brain. Among these circuits are the frontostriatal circuits, which are responsible for regulating our pleasure response to music and good food.
When dopamine is released and binds to the frontostriatal circuit, it triggers a surge of motivation and pleasure. As a neurotransmitter, dopamine is critical in processing rewards, only activated when we indulge in delicious food or listen to music that evokes emotions.
Interestingly, even anticipating our favourite part of a song can trigger a dopamine rush, fueling our excitement and pleasure as a result.
Musicians and their sensitive brain
Individuals who compose remarkable songs are believed to possess healthier and more sensitive brains. Engaging in music-making has more positive effects than simply listening to it, as it can enhance memory and learning abilities.
Compared to those with no musical exposure, musicians tend to have more well-rounded brains that enable them to achieve greater accomplishments. Pursuing music as a hobby yields numerous rewards, indicating that the more one invests in music, the greater the benefits.
Lift up your soul with music conclusion
Music has a multitude of positive effects on brain health and function. It enhances intelligence, happiness, and productivity, regardless of age. While listening to music can be beneficial, actively playing music oneself is even more advantageous.