Sound therapies have long been popular as a way of relaxing and restoring health and wellbeing.
For centuries, indigenous cultures have used music to enhance their wellbeing.
Now, neuroscientists out of the UK have specified which tunes give you the most bang for your musical buck.
The study was conducted on participants who attempted to solve difficult puzzles as quickly as possible while connected to sensors. The puzzles induced a certain level of stress, and participants listened to different songs while researchers measured brain activity as well as physiological states that included heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breathing.
According to Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International, which conducted the research, one track produced a greater state of relaxation than any other music tested to date.
In fact, listening to that one song – ‘Weightless’ by Marconi Union – resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.
That is remarkable.
Equally remarkable is the fact the song was actually constructed to do so.
The group that created Weightless, did so in collaboration with sound therapists. Its carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines help slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
When it comes to lowering anxiety, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Stress either exacerbates or increases the risk of health issues like heart disease, obesity, depression, gastrointestinal problems, asthma, and more. More troubling still, a recent paper out of Harvard and Stanford found health issues from job stress alone cause more deaths than diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or influenza.
In this age of constant bombardment, the science is clear:
If you want your mind and body to last, you’ve got to prioritize giving them a rest. Music is an easy way to take some of the pressure off of all the pings, dings, apps, tags, sms, emails, appointments, meetings, and deadlines that can easily spike your stress level and leave you feeling drained and anxious.
Dr. Lewis-Hodgson said …
Weightless was so effective, many people became drowsy and I would advise against driving while listening to the song because it could be dangerous.
You can find all Marconi Union’s music on your fave music streaming service and youtube.
Article courtesy INC magazine. Edited by Seated Massage.