We all know that music is able to affect the way we think and feel. Anyone who has spent any time listening to music will know that rhythm, pitch and dynamics can all have an impact on our emotions and our bodies. After all, that’s why music in movie soundtracks can have such a powerful effect on the way we perceive the action.
Runners are aware that when they listen to fast-paced music as they jog they are more likely to be able to run faster and have greater stamina for longer. So, if this effect can be noted, it stands to reason that certain types of music can help to relieve stress and anxiety too.
The Anxiety Problem
More people in society today have been diagnosed with a stress or anxiety disorder than ever before. Around 25% of people at any one time are said to be suffering with their mental health, and so finding ways for sufferers to get relief through natural methods couldn’t be more important.
Psychologists, psychiatrists and medical experts are now suggesting that music could hold the answer. It has been discovered that, while fast music can make you alert and upbeat music can make you feel positive, music with a slow tempo is capable of quieting the mind and relaxing the muscles, helping to soothe the listener. It is this aspect of folk music which makes it perfect for stress management and effective relaxation.
What Happens Inside The Brain?
Research has revealed that music with approximately 60 beats a minute is able to make the brain synchronize in time with the beat. The result is the production of alpha brainwaves with frequencies from 8-14 hertz per second. These brainwaves are present if we are both conscious yet relaxed. In order to promote sleep, it has been found that if a listener remains relaxed, listening to this calming music for around 45 minutes, their brain function can effectively be changed. In some cases, the change is just as powerful as that induced by pharmaceutical medications. This makes it a highly efficient stress relief too.
Which Types Of Music Are Most Effective For Stress Relief?
As you might imagine, you should probably avoid pop and rock if you want a relaxing, calming experience! It has been found that Native American, Indian and Celtic music is especially effective with strings, flutes and drums helping to boost relaxation even if they are played at a relatively loud volume. Folk music is therefore the perfect choice. With its blend of stringed and wind instruments mixing together with soothing rhythms and a slower pace, folk music will help to calm your mind and release tension after even the most stressful day.
How To Maximize The Stress-Relieving Power Of Folk Music
If you want to make sure that you get the most out of listening to folk music, you need to get the setting right. There’s no point in listening to folk music while you’re driving or working and hoping you’ll feel instantly destressed! Instead, trying listening in a dimly lit room, perhaps by candlelight. You could also try listening in a warm bubble bath.
If you have a willing friend or partner, listening to folk music while having a relaxing massage could be the ideal way to drift off and de-stress after a long hard day. In fact, even if you don’t have another person to hand to help you, you could still enjoy a nice massage thanks to the many different electronic massage options out there. You could have a massage on a chair pad, enjoy a neck massage with a special pillow or a foot massage from a dedicated device. Any type of massage is known to be highly effective when it comes to stress relief, and when you combine its power with the power of soothing music, you’ll be able to drift off to sleep more easily with a clearer and more relaxed mind.
Hopefully, with this in mind, you’ll find the best way to help you to relieve your stress and anxiety through your love of folk music. Enjoy relaxing and listening to your heart’s content.