Sometimes, music just strikes the right note in us. We get chills, begin to tap our feet, bob our heads, and sing along. The truth is, we, as humans, are totally compelled by music. It motivates us and inspires us both physically and mentally. It evokes emotion in us. In fact, many of us have different playlists tailored to our moods. A relaxing playlist for when we’re trying to calm down, a playlist full of upbeat songs when we’re trying to work out, etc.
Music is a universal language that brings us together. A topic of conversation and a shared feeling. We are able to connect to the artist through the different instruments, beats, and powerful symbolic messages conveyed through lyrics. Music is truly a powerful experience. But why does it have such a profound effect on us?
How Music Engages Your Brain
Did you know scientists have found that music keeps your mind young? That’s because it’s an amazing exercise for your brain. As you would lift weights to work out your body and build muscle, listening to music does just that – for your brain! Typically when we go about our daily lives and complete tasks here and there, we are activating one area of our brain. However, when you listen to music, it activates your entire brain.
According to Harvard Health, “A small area in the right temporal lobe is essential to perceive pitch, which forms the basis of melody, chords, and harmony. Another nearby center is responsible for decoding timbre, the quality that allows the brain to distinguish between different instruments that are playing the same note. A different part of the brain, the cerebellum, processes rhythm, and the frontal lobes interpret the emotional content of music. And music that’s powerful enough to be “spine-tingling” can light up the brain’s “reward center,” much like pleasurable stimuli ranging from alcohol to chocolate.”
As you can see, so many regions of our brains are engaged while we listen to music. And as we activate the many areas of our brain, we improve our brain functioning, enhancing so many skills, including our ability to solve problems and make connections quicker.
Music and Neuroplasticity
Listening to music we like releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps us be more attentive and feel happy. Although music we don’t like releases cortisol, a hormone produced when we feel stressed, if we can bear through it, we can actually create new neural pathways in our brains. Similar to how our brains would respond if we were learning something new.
Bonus points if you can play music. Studies show that when younger people learn to play music, it has amazing health benefits for their brains. It can change the structure of the brain as it is developing, improving memory, non-verbal reasoning, motor skills, and auditory skills.
Music and Xen: Wellness Technology
By leveraging how the brain, body, and nervous system work together, Xen by Neuvana may create happier, healthier, more balanced lives through vagus nerve stimulation. With Xen, you can pair wellness technology with music, which may enhance the effects. Xen syncs to your music library, Spotify®, Pandora®, and most other streaming apps. With the Neuvana app, you can easily customize your sessions to choose different waveforms and sensations, all while you listen to your music or go about your day.
Other Neuvana Related Blogs: