Music Can Temporarily Help Your Stress Levels

Being a student isn’t easy, but yet…you knew that already. That’s nothing new. Stress consumes all of us, student or not; from societal pressures, to school, to work, to relationships, to daily life, we learn to cope in different ways. For me, music heals my soul. Every time I’m stressed, I put on my favorite new songs, and within minutes, I calm down. I don’t zone out from the real world, but I do become entranced by the music to my ears. It’s amazing what music can do for you. 

It’s known that certain melodies and tunes can influence the brain in a positive way. For example, the hippocampus (a part of the temporal lobe in the brain) is highly effective for memory and the amygdala (part of the limbic system) is important for emotion and fear. So, if you like a song and you hear it over and over again, both of these regions will activate, so that the next time you hear that song, you will remember what it felt like to hear it the first time and you will feel certain emotions. For instance, sometimes I smile if a song is associated with a particular memory. The same can be said about sadness, however. If you go through a bad breakup and there was a song associated with that relationship, if you hear that song again, your hippocampus and amygdala will communicate and tell each other to elicit a certain sadness due to the memory of your relationship.

So, how can music help us overcome our stress? It can’t, fully. But, it CAN alleviate some of your pain. Sometimes music can help you to have a good cry so that you can feel better afterwards. And, other times, music can help you to feel a bit happier.

It is known that music and memory go hand-in-hand, so music can also help you study! Personally, I find that any distraction becomes problematic if I am doing something that requires tons of concentration. But, I have friends that use instrumental music to read or to write papers, to get them in their “zone.” It works for some people, so why not try and see if it works for you?!

While music cannot fully help you in your day-to-day life, it can give you a boost that you might need at times. Let it be your placebo in times of need. Let it guide you through stressful times. What’s great about music as medicine is that YOU are in control of your dosage. There is never a limit – you make the choice.

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