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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 November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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