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21 Incredible Benefits of Singing That Will Impress You

21 Incredible Benefits of Singing That Will Impress You

Today didn’t start well. Last night, I gave a difficult presentation at a meeting, and I was still turning things over in my mind when I awoke this morning. My husband and I grumbled at each other, and then I had an unpleasant encounter with someone while out walking the dogs. The day was shaping up to be a real drag.

I sing and play in a local band. We mostly do covers, sort of folk and Latin rock with Celtic, blues, jazz, and all kinds of other stuff thrown in. One of the other band members had given me a CD of some new music for us to work on, so I started listening to it. In spite of the murky thoughts lingering in my mind, I found myself starting to sing along, and before I knew it, two hours had gone by. During that two hours, I was in heaven, exploring the different sounds my voice made with the recording, analyzing the upcoming chords, anticipating the holes in the harmony that I needed to fill, sometimes hitting a bad note or getting the words wrong, but it didn’t matter. I was completely immersed in the process. My mind simply didn’t have any room to mull over unpleasant memories or people about which I could do nothing.

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Now, I feel wonderful: light, refreshed, relaxed … like I just woke up from a nice nap or got back from a beautiful walk. My worries from last night and this morning are completely gone, and I’m ready to take on the world, including writing this blog post. Which is going remarkably easily. Much more easily than it would have gone with my previous gloomy, distracted mindset.

What happened?

Well, scientists certainly would like to know. Whether we’re belting out a favorite song in the car with the stereo turned up loud, sitting with a guitar on a balcony or in a coffee house, taking center stage as part of a musical theater production or joining our voice with those of others in a church or community choir, there seems to be something almost magical about singing’s effect on the human body. My own grandfather insists that he overcame his depression through getting up every morning and singing before the sun rose. In study after study, the benefits of singing included not just the mental, but the emotional, physical, and even spiritual well-being of its participants. One might even be tempted to call singing a cure-all.

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Here’s a rundown of just some of the health benefits of singing that have been reported:

Twenty Health Benefits of Singing

Physical

1. Works the lungs, tones up the intercostals and diaphragm.
2. Improves sleep
3. Benefits cardio function by improving aerobic capacity
4. Relaxes overall muscle tension
5. Improves posture.
6. Opens up sinuses and respiratory tubes
7. With training, could help decrease snoring
8. Releases endorphins
9. Boosts immune system
10. Helps improve physical balance in people affected by illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease

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Emotional

12. Increases self-esteem and confidence
13. Increases feelings of wellbeing
14. Increases mental alertness
15. Enhances mood
16. Reduces, anger, depression, and anxiety
17. Reduces stress
18. Stimulates creativity
19. Energizes
20. Alleviates loneliness and acts as a social lubricant

Wait…there’s one more benefit to singing:

It’s fun!

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I’ve suspected for awhile now that having fun is way more important that our culture would like us to think. Having fun feels good. And when we feel good, our minds work better, our emotions work better, our bodies work better, we make better decisions, we relate to other people better … in short, everything works better.

Turns out, my observations are being backed up by science.

Physicists discovered awhile ago that we and everything we see exists in a soup of spinning, vibrating particles. Now they’re finding out that what we think and feel actually creates magnetic fields that cause these particles to echo our thoughts and feelingsAin’t that a kicker? It’s like we’re walking around in a 3-D universal mirror. If we smile, the mirror smiles. If we frown, the mirror frowns. So anything we do that makes us feel good literally spins our bodies and our worlds into feeling good, too.

How are you going to discover for yourself the benefits of singing?

Featured photo credit: Singing In The Shower/Paul Scott via photopin.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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