We are all aware that music makes us feel better and makes us to be happier people. We are positive that every single one of us has at least played their favorite songs while getting ready just to get in a better mood and it has definitely worked! Or played our favorite tunes while taking a shower. Our favorite songs bring a smile to our face and uplift our spirits.
What we didn’t know until now is that music reorganizes our brain cells. Here is how it does that.
What it does is similar to what a meditation session would do for your brain. It calms you and helps the body adapt to stress.
Music regenerates your brain and acts as the ultimate adaptogen. Adaptogens are herbs that have the ability to reduce the stress hormones in our blood, helping your body adjust to stress and adapt easier to difficult situations like a difficult situation at work or when facing a certain problem. They have great effects on your body’s ability to deal with the outside stress. Music, just like adaptogens does the same thing for us.
According to a recent research, scientists used fMRI technology, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, to watch the blood flow in the brain while a person is listening to their favorite music. They have found that when people are listening to music, they showed enhanced levels of brain connectivity. This brain state is linked to the creativity, happiness, and cognitive functioning.
Listening to music allows greater neural flexibility. Cortical plasticity enables brain circuits to flexibly alter and modify to achieve maximum capacity throughout information processing. The more flexible our brains are – the more we can endure the whole stress we experience in our every-day life.
The study reports that the biggest change inspired by music was noted in the resting-state network associated with internal peace, or “the introspective and adaptive mental activities in which humans spontaneously and deliberately engage in every day.” This area of the brain is the one that allows us to dream, remember old memories, and to practice empathy and self-awareness. This is why music brings back old memories and triggers self-referential thoughts.
We are sure and can say so ourselves that certain songs and music really do bring back old memories and makes us reminisce.
“In the fMRI experiment, the hippocampus was another brain region where connectivity between nerve cells was altered when subjects heard their favorite song, regardless of its acoustic characteristics. The hippocampus is essential for the acquisition of emotional and social memories, a process which may be disturbed in neurodegenerative disease”.
In the same research, they have discovered that music can heal a person. Using music in hospitals and nursing homes would cause maximal effect on the people there. “The processing of emotionally-laden experiences in the brain, which may be impaired in psychiatric disorders, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases, may be engaged when music is incorporated into neurologic remediation therapies.”
It has shown that listening to music can increase and boost recovery of cognitive function post-stroke, reduce symptoms of mood disorders, it can improve our emotional intelligence and also improve our executive brain functions.
Scientists suggest that music regulates the secretion of steroid hormones, which eventually stimulates repair and regenerate cerebral nerves.
Music has also been shown to increase your brains neural plasticity. This is an important part of the brain which allows you to adapt to the changing world, and makes you more prepared to face new challenges.
Music was most probably invented during the Paleolithic days. The Ancient Greeks, just like the Egyptians, understood and used music for therapeutic benefits. Early Chinese, Tibetan, Hindu, Persians, and other cultures all knew scales which were meant to induce certain hypnagogic states.
Even though we have no idea how far back music goes into the human history, it is known that music is a universal spiritual language. The Pythagoreans called it “the music of the spheres”.
Another fun fact is that each planet is said to have its own musical vibration, and NASA has recorded ours, which is called the Earthsong. Pretty amazing!
After finding out that it is also beneficial to listen to music as it rewires our brains, plus it makes us happier people, I’m sure a lot of people are about to play their favorite tunes on repeat!