How music can be therapeutic
College is a time for students to gain independence, knowledge and grow as a person away from their home and parents. While some people thrive in this new environment, others can start to feel extremely stressed due to classes, working to pay for their education, as well being alone for the first time in their lives. All of these new emotions can cause depression and anxiety to occur in many people. Instead of turning to medications that can be addictive and harmful to the body, music is a great alternative to calm anxiety and lighten your mood.
The early side effects of an anxiety attack are sweaty palms, increased heart rate, and lack of focus to your surroundings. If you start to feel any of these symptoms, music can help lower your heart rate and prevent an anxiety attack. Research has proven that listening to music with a slow tempo and low pitch, mainly instrumental, can calm people down. A good example of this is classical music. Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and Chopin are all excellent examples of composers who wrote soothing music that can help calm someone down. If listening to instrumental music does not work, signing along to a slow tempo song can also contribute to reducing anxiety. Your body will naturally follow the rhythm of the song and can slow your increased heart rate. Also, singing along to a song with a slow tempo and slow your breathing down. Breathing too quickly can induce a panic attack and cause you to faint due to the lack of oxygen. Remembering to take deep breathes along with the tempo of a song can slow your breathing, and your heart rate, to stop an anxiety attack.
Music is also a great way to combat depression. Depression is a broad term that can range from someone feeling too many negative emotions to not feeling any emotions at all. Music can help you to focus on a particular emotion and work your way through it, one day at a time. Listening to music that you associate with a certain event or person can also help with depression. If you lack the motivation to start a class assignment, project, or just to leave your room, music is known to motivate you. Listening to a song with a faster tempo and happy lyrics will help you to be motivated to finish the work you have to do. Listening to the Top 40 Hits are a good example of fast tempo songs with, generally, happy lyrics.
College is a particularly stressful time for all students and can cause symptoms of anxiety attacks as well as depression. Instead of turning towards medication for a quick fix, music can be very beneficial for its calming qualities for anxiety as well as its lighthearted qualities to help depression.