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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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