Feeling stressed? Studies have shown that a singsong could be the answer to all that tension in your body. So, turn up the volume and belt out your favourite tunes at the top of your voice!
Not convinced that singing is the answer to all your stress? It is important to remember that stress is a symptom, not the actual problem. So, while the cause of your mental anguish will still be at large after your warbling, your reaction to it will be calmer and you will be better able to cope with the problem. Here are seven ways singing helps you manage your stress reaction.
Singing Reduces Your Stress Hormone
Have you ever heard of the fight or flight response? This is caused by a hormone called cortisol and it plays a key role in keeping us safe in our day-to-day lives. It is also what makes us feel stressed, quickening our pulse and releasing adrenaline into our veins.
A study by the Royal College of Music showed a marked reduction in cortisol after a singing session. The 2017 research tested the cortisol levels of the saliva of a test group and proved that they felt more relaxed once they had sung. This is only true if you are singing in a place that doesn’t make you feel anxious – often performers have higher cortisol levels after singing.
Too much of this is unhealthy, however, and leads to us feeling stressed, anxious, and depressed. It can even weaken the immune system, making us more prone to illness. The act of singing lowers the levels of cortisol in the system creating a healthier balance.
Singing Increases Your Love Hormone
Oxytocin has many roles in the body, but one of them is to reduce stress and anxiety levels in the body. It also plays a part in bonding with others and social acceptance, which is especially important in group singing situations. A study by Western Michigan University showed that singing has a direct impact on increased levels of oxytocin, making it a key tool in the fight against stress.
Want to boost that oxytocin blast further? Move to the beat! Singing and dancing in tandem will rocket your oxytocin sky-high!
Singing Tickles Your Vagus Nerve
Someone getting on your last nerve? Make sure it’s the vagus one and all your stresses will disappear! Positioned at the back of the throat, it’s connected to your vocal cords and has a role in setting your heart rate and breathing speed. When you are stressed, your heart rate speeds up, and you tend to breathe with shorter, shallower breaths. When you sing and stimulate that vagus nerve, your heart rate slows down and you can take better-quality breaths. This helps you feel calmer and less stressed.
Singing Distracts from Your Problems
To sing properly, your whole body has to get involved. Humming along to a tune doesn’t have the same effect as trying to learn the words and get the tune right. It takes concentration and patience, which can be a great distraction tool. You don’t have the mental space to be stressed when you are singing – there’s too much else going on!
Singing Reminds You That You Are Not Alone
Whatever it is that is causing you stress, chances are someone else has been through it too. Sing your heart out to a song that resonates with your situation, and you instantly feel less isolated and therefore less stressed.
Singing about your problems also helps you recognize and own your feelings so that you can better cope with the stress that arises because of them.
Singing Releases Endorphins
Just like exercise, singing forces us to breathe deeper and get the heart pumping which makes it an aerobic exercise. This is great for your overall health, but it also means it releases the same endorphins you get from exercise. Endorphins are the feel-good chemicals that make you happy, combating stress with the most powerful antidote there is.
Singing Increases Your Social Opportunities (If You Let It)
There are so many ways to use singing to boost your social prowess. Introverts who struggle in social settings are always welcome in community choirs, while singing lessons are for everyone, helping to boost confidence and encourage social interaction.
Singing is one of the best stress relievers available and is an option for almost everyone! It’s completely free, you can do it anywhere (depending on your confidence levels), and you don’t even need to be good at it! If you want to feel, calm, relaxed, and carefree, bust out a tune and become tension-free!
If you would like to take your singing practice to the next level, so that you can really beat stress, then contact us today. We will help you make the most out of every single note.
Tags: How to practice
, singing technique
, vocal tips
, vocal advice