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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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