According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, playing an instrument as a child keeps the mind sharper as we age. The study, done at the University of Kansas Medical Center, recruited 70 healthy adults aged 60 to 83, who were divided into groups based on their levels of musical experience.
The musicians performed better on several cognitive tests. The brain functions measured by the tests tend to decline with age. Musical activity through one’s life may serve as a challenging cognitive exercise, making your brain fitter and more capable of accommodating the challenges of aging.
Research suggests that music not only helps us cope with pain — it can also benefit our physical and mental health in numerous other ways. Listening to music was also shown to be more successful than prescription drugs in decreasing a person’s anxiety before undergoing surgery.
Health Benefits Of Music:
- Eases Anxiety In Cancer Patients : Researchers from Drexel University found that cancer patients who either listened to music or worked with a music therapist experienced a reduction in anxiety.
- Reduces Stress : If you listen to your iPod every day on your way to work or break out the guitar every evening, then you’ll like this finding.
- Helps During Surgery : Listening to music while lying on the operating table could help to lower stress.
- Boosts Heart Health : Odd as it may seem, University of Maryland Medical Center researchers have found a link between listening to music and heart health.
- Soothes Pain : Research Center showed that listening to music is effective as a distraction for anxiety-prone people from feeling pain, and as a result, could help people feel less pain.
- Helps Memory : Kids who take music lessons could be doing their brains a favor.
- Protects The Aging Brain : Having musical training could protect your mental sharpness in old age.
- Improves Stroke Recovery : Finnish researchers found that listening to music soon after a stroke could help with recovery, News Medical reported.
- Works As Well As A Massage At Lowering Anxiety : Massages are super-relaxing, sure — but a study in the journal Depression and Anxiety shows that music could also do the trick, at least when it comes to decreasing anxiety.
Regardless of your taste in music, it’s clear that tunes benefit our health.