Of Music and Moods

Hi everyone! Ele here. How’s the season been treating you guys? I’m currently visiting some good friends in Asia so lemme tell you that it is H-O-T where I am right now. You would not believe how warm it gets! I swear I could bake some cookies on the balcony of my friend’s home.

Whenever I feel uncomfortable, I always try to find a space where I can be by myself and plug in my trusty pair of earphones. When I want to feel cooler or at least, trick myself into feeling cooler, I play nature sounds–specifically the sounds of waves crashing against the shore. I just close my eyes and envision that I’m at the beach. It’s also pretty helpful that there’s often a bit of guitar that accompanies most nature sounds.

My friend Jon saw me and remarked on the visible improvement of my mood. I told him that music is pretty powerful in affecting moods and current philosophies. He seemed really interested in how this works and I really enjoyed the conversation that I decided to share some of the points I gave.

Music, according to science, is known to tap into various parts of the brain. The meter, timber, rhythm, and pitch of music are managed in areas of the brain that deal with emotions and mood. The key areas in the brain are the hippocampus, pre-frontal cortex, and the parietal lobe. The hippocampus, a structure of the limbic system, is responsible for spatial orientation, navigation and the consolidation of new memories. It also brings about emotional responses. The pre-frontal cortex, on the other hand, manages extreme impulses and emotions. It is known as the “seat of good judgment,” it enables one to make good and acceptable calls so that inappropriate behaviors are prevented.

The parietal lobe is in charge of spatial orientation, information processing, and cognition. Because of its ability to alter the different parts of the brain, music has been utilized in a number of therapies. For example, it has been applied to stroke victims to teach them how to talk once again. At the same time, it is recommended to stutterers so that they can dictate words clearly once again. Since it reaches the emotion-related barriers too, music is now being utilized as a mood-altering therapy for depressed and anxious individuals.

So it’s actually pretty beneficial to make use of music to alter moods and sometimes, it can even alter held philosophies. Mostly, music has several significant and often immediate effects on people.

Music can make people happy.

No, that’s not a joke. If you’re ever sad or depressed, try listening to something upbeat. Soothing tunes foster the release of serotonin. That’s the hormone that fosters happiness and a general sense of well-being. It also floods the body with dopamine–a neurotransmitter that makes people feel good.

Music also paves the way for the release of norepinephrine, a hormone that brings about euphoria and elation. With all the hormones that flood the body with happy thoughts, you do not have to purchase expensive anti-depressant medications just to feel better.

Music makes a pretty good motivator.

High five if you’ve ever started a workout session to the tune of Eye of the Tiger! The message carried by the song and the tune it uses is a pretty swell way of uplifting moods and can give that extra burst of energy.

A lot of people now make use of music as a sort of timer to get tasks done.

Music can shift your perception.

Music is pretty powerful stuff. Have you ever had a moment where you’re perfectly fine and a song comes on to remind you of a sad event and suddenly you’re a blubbering mess on the floor? Yeah. The reverse is also true. A study conducted by experts from the University of Groningen shows that people enjoy a ‘happier’ perception when they listen to lively music. So if you want to drown all the depression away, crank up the radio and expect your perception to be changed – at least for the better.

So yeah, music is a good way to help alter moods from one to another. Which is why it is important to be careful of what you expose yourself to at certain points in your life. As for me, time to crank up the beach sounds because the heat is getting to me again.

‘Til next time, buds!

-Ele

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