Anxiety is one of the most common disorders that can significantly affect your quality of life. The feelings of worry, fear, panic, and dread associated with today’s fast-paced world are taking their toll on the majority of the global population.
According to the Anxiety Centre, almost 30% of the adult population that are between the ages of 18-54 are affected by anxiety in the US alone.
Mental health is a silent killer, mostly because people are afraid to speak up about their issues. It’s tough to relate to those with anxiety, but there are always different methods that can be done to help with it. One doctor believes he has found a solution to anxiety. Read on to find out what that solution is.
Before dissecting this new discovery on anxiety, let’s first discuss how anxiety has become so prevalent in our society. Psychologists believe that the rise of technology, overly-protective parenting, and “exam factory” schooling are to blame.
The reason why they believe these three elements have played such a huge role is because people tend to grow very insecure about each of these things. For example, society has put pressure on people to get good grades so they can get a good job, so schools have taken the testing approach rather than the teaching approach. Basing your entire future on a degree can be really nerve-racking.
Psychologists also believe that giving people the freedom of choice also plays an effect. In no way are they blaming the freedom aspect of choice, but with the issue that society is watching and judging our every move. It puts a lot of pressure on people to make the “right decision,” which can affect your self-esteem if you choose wrong.
So, how do we fight anxiety? Some people believe that medication is the key. Others believe that counseling is beneficial. But one thing that is certain is that the pharmaceutical industries thrive off people suffering from anxiety, with 65% of North Americans taking prescription medication daily and 43% taking mood regulators regularly.
A study by Mindlab International revealed that individuals who tuned into the 8-minute composition titled "Weightless" experienced a remarkable 65% reduction in their anxiety levels and a 35% decrease in their resting heart rates.
Research has shown that music can trigger different areas of the brain, including those in control of our emotions, movement, sensation, and cognition. In fact, we regularly prescribe ourselves music for various occasions - techno tunes for parties, upbeat music for an intense workout session, and classical music for studying.
Since music has such a direct and intense effect on our feelings, behavior, and hormone release, some professionals use it as a form of therapy for people with anxiety. Whether experts use active or passive music therapy, this type of treatment has proven to help patients with anxiety disorders.
Contemplating past events and worrying about the future are the main factors that open the door to stress and anxiety. Enjoying your favorite songs - whether it is dancing, tapping, or clapping along to their beat - can help you regain control over your thoughts. This way, you can put your racing thoughts on pause and reconnect to your immediate surroundings.
Furthermore, listening to music is a perfect way to release repressed emotions and energy. This is especially beneficial after a prolonged stressful situation that has put you in a fight-or-flight state. Without an adequate coping mechanism, these piled-up emotions can cause symptoms like sweating, muscle tension, and a fast heart rate.
Finally, Isolation is a significant factor that leads to stress and anxiety. Whether you consume or create it, music is a healthy way to fight loneliness-related anxiety and connect to people with similar tastes. For example, you can sing along to your favorite artist’s song at a concert alongside other fans or meet up with your friends to create your own music.
Although music generally benefits our mental health, not every tune effectively relieves stress. Experts suggest that the most effective genres for relaxation include light jazz, classical melodies, Celtic, Indian, and Native American folk music that involves stringed instruments, flutes, and drums. When you set up a playlist for your most challenging anxiety moments, moderately loud instrumental music is the way to go. The effect is even better when you mix these types of music with sounds of nature, such as raindrops or bird chirping.
It is important to remember that everyone reacts uniquely to different types of music. What helps others calm down may not work for you. Finally, not all relaxing music has to make you sleepy - you can quiet your mind with your favorite relaxation playlist while staying active.