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Music soothes the soul and beats stress

Music soothes the soul and beats stress

Unless it's on a desert island, very few of us live a noise-free life. Bustle, shouting, traffic – it’s all part of the buzz of urban life. Many of us wouldn’t have it any other way. But sometimes the madness gets a bit much.

That’s when solving urban stress with music comes into play (see what we did there?).

What music works best and how can you use it to calm things down?

WHAT CAN MUSIC DO FOR US?

People have known about the power of music since the first caveman hit the first drum. Getting lost in a rhythm or a tune takes us out of ourselves, relaxes us and quite often simply makes us smile. Look for ‘sound bath’ themes when you need to turn off the world. Or try SoundCloud for uninterrupted chill out music.

That first drum session would have shortly been followed by the first dance. Moving to music has always been an instinctive way to relax and have fun. Who cares who's watching?

MUSIC FOR THE COMMUTE

Any commute is instantly cheered when you can lose yourself in music. Shut your senses from the crowds and fill your head with your favourite tunes. You'll soon forget that your nose is pressed in someone's armpit.

ANY PARTICULAR TYPE OF MUSIC?

It’s all very personal, as anyone who shares a house will know. Even long-standing couples can often have totally opposite tastes in music.

Choose what you enjoy, but research has shown that around 60 beats per minute is the right rhythm to relax the brain. Flutes, strings and ‘world music’ instruments seem to be the best for soothing a frazzled mind.

HOW CAN I MAKE THE BEST USE OF STRESS-BUSTING MUSIC?

Instead of a sudden alarm, start the day with music that fades gently in. Liven up the music as you get ready for your day. Faster beats and danceable tunes are just what is needed during your workout. As the day ends, slow it down and turn it down to get you in the right frame of mind for sleep.

WHAT ABOUT VOLUME?

Noise levels at gigs and clubs are notoriously damaging. Even turning up headphone volume to drown out train noise can go over safe limits. Overdo it and the ringing in your ears could be permanent.

Limit your loud music exposure, or wear earplugs as the musicians do. Consider noise-cancelling headphones. And wherever you are with personal music, don’t lose touch with your surroundings. Not only might you be annoying the person trying to get past, you might not hear something that could affect your safety.

Music –the best anti-stress medicine. Press play!

Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.

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