“I don’t sing because I’m happy; I’m happy because I sing.” – William James
They say there are two ways to reach God. Through meditation and music. I can completely reinforce this belief. I may not have reached God, but through years of mediation and riyaaz (music practice), I definitely feel more centered and in sync with myself than ever before.
I will talk about mediation and it’s benefits later on, but for now I want to highlight the importance of incorporating music in your life. Whether you’re making a career out of it, or just spending a few minutes daily listening/singing, I strongly suggest you do it. Studies have repeatedly shown the beneficial effects that sound waves have on the mind, body, heart and soul.
When you listen to music you like, your brain releases a feel good neurotransmitter called dopamine, which leads to a feeling of well being, excitement and joy. Just 20 minutes is all it takes to start feeling a sense of high! Fast or slow motivational music also enhances an athletes performance, so listen to music that inspires you. Listening to music also decreases the cortisol levels in your body, resulting in lower stress levels. We all face daily stress which has detrimental effects on our mind and body so the next time you’re feeling edgy, blast some upbeat music and feel the agitation gradually make its way out. Among the benefits stated above, music also helps you sleep better, reduces depression and believe it or not, helps you curb those fatty food cravings.
Music also helps in post op healing and has been widely gaining recognition for it’s therapeutic effects in elderly patients, people suffering from Alzheimer’s and patients recovering from strokes. I will write about this more at length a little later on but for now, believe you me when i tell you, if music isn’t a part of your daily routine, make it happen! I’ve been studying/practicing music for over 15 years now and it’s benefits and rewards are not to be undermined. Whatever genre you prefer, whatever instrument tickles your fancy, sit back, relax and play some tunes.