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5 Reasons Why People Who Sing Are Happier, Healthier And Live Longer (Regardless Of How Well They Sing)

5 Reasons Why People Who Sing Are Happier, Healthier And Live Longer (Regardless Of How Well They Sing)

Do you like to sing? You probably think you are not musical and you sing too much out of tune. The truth is that you are missing out on enormous health benefits when you decide to keep quiet and never sing.

It may also be due to the fact that about 85% of us were told long ago that we cannot sing and that we should never open our mouths in public. What a mistake!

Singing is an integral art of the whole music experience, which is very beneficial for everybody. Research now shows that those people who sing are happier, live longer and are generally much healthier too. So sing your heart out, because nobody cares whether you are in tune or not, unless you are in a choir!

You can choose a sing-along event, the shower, the car, or anywhere you feel uninhibited if the choir turns you down. Here are five reasons why these singers are getting an extra bonus.

“Sing like no one is listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching and live like it’s heaven on earth.” – Mark Twain

1. They have better heart and lung health

We all know about the benefits of deep breathing when we are in the yoga or gym class. But singing out loud can get a whole range of muscles working and improve circulation.

It can help tone abdominal and intercostal muscles. If you sing together with friends or in a choir this may also be great for the heart as researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden has found.

Their work indicates that the regular and controlled breathing helps you relax and there is a reduced risk of heart disease. They experience a synchronized heartbeat especially when they sing slow chants.

Other studies, including one at the University of Cardiff, found patients with chronic lung conditions who were choir members had greater breathing capacity.

“Singing is like a celebration of oxygen.” – Bjork

2. They are happier

When they sing, singers experience a release of the endorphins which make them feel better and their mood is lifted. Their nerves are soothed and they just feel better.

This is heightened when people sing together in a group or choir. But another hormone, known as oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) is also activated when they sing. This increases a sense of bonding and trust.

Watch the entertaining video here which explains why you should be singing more and more often.

“He who sings scares away his woes.” – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

3. They have better balance

There is a very interesting study being conducted by the University of California San Francisco at the moment. They have created 12 new choirs in centers catering for the elderly in the bay area.

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Before they started out, they were tested for their leg strength and balance which are key factors in preventing falls in the elderly. They have found that the choir members fall much less and they seem to have stronger legs and better balance. Just another reason for doing your singing practise as the years go by.

“I believe that singing is the key to long life, a good figure, a stable temperament, increased intelligence, new friends, super self-confidence, heightened sexual attractiveness and a better sense of humor.” – Brian Eno

4. They will live longer

Another reason to tune up your vocal chords is the fact that it may well help you live longer. This is the result of research done in a joint study at Harvard and Yale. They studied the life expectancy of the aging population of New Haven, Connecticut.

The reasons why singing helped them live longer was because they had better mental health, were less depressed and had an improved well being all round. Obviously a healthy lifestyle helps as well, as Frank Holder remarks.

“I have kept a clean profile by not being involved in drugs, smoking, drinking and partying too hard, or any temptation that might affect my singing or detract from my performances.” – Frank Holder.

5. They have better posture and look younger

When singers get their breathing technique right, they are forced to stand straight with their shoulders back. Good posture enhances breathing which results in a better-sounding voice. It also means you will have better health as you age.

Have you ever seen a choir perform sitting down? There is some excellent advice in the section, creating correct singing posture, in the book Singing for Dummies by Pamelia S. Phillips.

Singers get to exercise a wide range of muscles from the stomach right up to the face. It is these facial muscles which will be toned and make you look younger and more vibrant.

They also say that when you smile, the facial muscles will get good exercise. Unfortunately, when you smile, it does not necessarily mean you will sing well!

“I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain; What a glorious feeling, I’m happy again.” –  Arthur Freed

Featured photo credit: Sing out loud/ Melinda Seckington via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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