How do anxiety and stress affect your brain? Have YOU ever felt anxious or stressed. If you are a normal human being the answer is definitely a resounding “YES!” Unfortunately, anxiety and stress are just part of the human condition. And especially in the 21st century it seems. Every day is go-go-go from morning till night and we humans worry about everything from money to the weather, to what we’ll have for the next meal, to politics! It’s not easy!
But there is something wonderful out there that we can all take advantage of a lot more than we often do! And what is that? It’s MUSIC!! Humans have used music to destress with from pre-historic times, using the music of nature. To this day, humans love the sounds of waves lapping the shore, wind through the pines, a babbling brook, a gentle rainstorm, or birds singing their cheerful songs.
And how do anxiety and stress affect the brain? Well, we’ve talked about cortisol a lot in recent posts. That seems to be the primary stress hormone that is released in the brain and it does not help the body at all if it is being produced constantly! Cortisol damages not only the body’s organs, but also the muscle tissue and the immune system. That is why chronic stress and anxiety are just not good for your body, mind or spirit.
My prescription for you? Choose at least 30-60 minutes worth of your favorite music for relaxation, comfort, and soothing memories. It’s so easy nowadays to create a playlist on YouTube, your iPod or iPhone. You can even organize these by songs, instrumental music, bedtime favorites, holiday favorites, or hymns. Having at least half a dozen playlists at your fingertips can be a great comfort when tough times hit. I have so much music that I love and that comforts me, the only stress is choosing the one I want at that moment! And it only slows me down for about 30 seconds! Give it a try!!