Did you know that music can be used as a form of therapy? It’s true. Music therapy is often used to promote wellness, reduce pain, manage stress and overall improve quality of life.
Even if you haven’t taken a music therapy session, you may have noticed a change in yourself when you listen to your favorite song. Right away, we can feel calmer, energized, and just better. Music is a powerful tool that affects us deeply and new research has shown another promising use for music when it comes to our health.
Classical music for healthier blood pressure
How’s your blood pressure? Has your doctor raised any concerns? Are you watching what you eat and exercising more? Have you listened to any classical music lately? You may be surprised by the last question, but classical music, in particular, is starting to show positive effects on blood pressure.
Cardiologists at Oxford University put classical music to the test and the results are quite promising. Participants in the study listened to a variety of music while, at the same time, researchers monitored their pulse and blood pressure. They found that classical music takes the cake when it comes to better blood pressure. Unfortunately, if classical is not your cup of tea and you prefer pop or rap music, those won’t benefit your blood pressure.
Even though classical music proved to be the best choice for lowering blood pressure, not all classic tunes will do. For example, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, a faster-paced piece, did not lower blood pressure in comparison to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Although promising, the researchers note that additional research should be conducted to really solidify music’s ability to assist in blood pressure. But in the meantime, why not relax to some Mozart?
The stress and blood pressure link
The real underlying issue here is stress and how it affects blood pressure. Stress is noted to play a large role in our blood pressure levels, so music may very well be a means to reduce it. When we focus our attention on something else, we clear our mind of the stress we may have been experiencing. So whether it’s classical music or a stroll in a park, reducing stress seems to be the real secret to lowering blood pressure.
If classical music isn’t your thing and you require other means of reducing stress, try some of these options:
6 Natural tips to reduce Stress
- Exercise: It doesn’t have to be vigorous; a brief stroll is enough to reduce stress.
- Eat well: Some foods can actually promote stress–think spicy peppers. That means you should eat foods which promote calmness, like asparagus, avocados, and salmon.
- Meditate: Meditating can be anything you want it to be, so don’t feel you’re doing it wrong. Just take a few moments to close your eyes and divert your mental attention.
- Do breathing exercises: When you feel stress is getting the best of you, stop for a moment and take some deep breaths.
- Reduce caffeine and alcohol use: Both substances can stimulate the body, making stress worse.
- Stop smoking: Smoking acts as a stimulant and is just overall bad for your health.
These natural tips are effective means of reducing the stress, which can contribute to high blood pressure. So whether you’re relaxing to Beethoven or practicing your yoga child’s pose, relieving stress is key to healthy blood pressure.