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Science backed health benefits of music

Science backed health benefits of music

When you are down and you need a little boost of mood you put up your favorite song. This is because we all know that music is a free therapy and it helps us change our mood and feel better about everything. However, scientists decided to dig deeper into the benefits of music and see if there are any real, scientific health benefits of music. They came up with a lot of remarkable studies on the benefits of music!

1. From Ancient Times to the Latest Technologies

After humans started to walk straight and developed social skills they also began to create music. Of course, their instruments were nothing more than pieces of carved wood. This is how music started to play an important role in the history of humanity, especially because it was able to break the barriers of language – studies showed that humans around the world react the same way to music! For example, certain types of music can increase your focus, regardless your cultural background and personal beliefs. As humanity advanced, music also evolved. Nowadays, music is both an art and a technology, as musicians now spend their time in recording studio and mix different sounds in order to make music.

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Neuroscience lately focused on how music can change your brain and discovered that sound waves can increase babies’ speaking skills. But there is more, so let’s see all the science-baked health benefits of music.

2. Musicians Have a Different Brain Structure

When you want to find out how music changes your brain, you look at professional singers, who spend their days singing and recording music in their studio. And between those, they play at least one instrument. Researchers also looked at musicians and studied their brain. Studies found that a musician’s brain is a lot more symmetrical. This is because music helps develop the two hemispheres equally. At the same time, a musician’s brain is more active in areas which control coordination, motor controls and, as expected, the visual and auditory areas in the brain. A specific part of the brain, thecorpus callosum, is more developed in musicians. All these changes in the brain, allows musicians to have a better memory, which makes sense, if you think how many lyrics they can remember. Musicians can solve problems easier and are more creative than most people.

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3. Music Can Alter Your Mood

Without any study, each person knows that listening to his/her favorite song can make themself feel better. Now, scientists had proved this is a fact and showed us how is this possible. One of the biggest health benefits of music is the relief of stress. Music can relax you because it lowers the cortisol level in your blood. Cortisol is a hormone related to stress: the more cortisol you have in your blood, the more stressed you are. When you manage to lower your cortisol level, you are going to relax.

Another study showed that listening to music improves your mood. There are also studies which prove that listening to music and singing can make you feel more powerful and can increase your confidence.

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The studies also showed that any type of music has health benefits. One study showed that sad music can help you heal your broken heart. Listening to music is therapeutic, so if you feel low, listen to music!

4. Music Can Help You Increase Productivity

On the list of health benefits of music there is also the enhancement of work performance. A study made on non-professionals showed that office workers who are allowed to listen to music of their own choice are more creative and productive, compared to those who don’t listen to music.

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Featured photo credit: Albumarium via albumarium.com

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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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