The Effects Of Music On Stress & Anxiety

People often experience anxiety in anticipation of events that will be unfamiliar, uncomfortable, or have undesirable results. Even minor occurrences can produce reactions in anxiety prone people. Music is an easily administered, nonthreatening, noninvasive, and inexpensive tool to calm anxiety. The effect on people listening to music prior to and during surgery has been the subject of several studies. Some indicate that music is effective in reducing anxiety before and during surgerical procedures.

Music is thought to have many effects on an individual. Researchers believe that music may relieve stress by diverting attention away from or masking annoying noise. Doctors report that music can help achieve a deep state of relaxation, relieve insomnia, enable patients to recall suppressed memories, lower blood pressure, and normalize cardiac arrhythmia. One author claims that music enables the body to synchronize its rhythms with the rhythms of vibrating bodies around it. For example, if an anxious person with a racing heartbeat listens to slow music, his or her heart rate will slow down and synchronize with the music’s rhythm.

Other researchers looked at the actual experience of listening to music during postoperative recovery and evaluated findings from a phenomenological (the system of stressing the description of phenomena) perspective. Three themes emerged from the data, including:
1. Comfort from a discomforting condition.
2. Familiarity in a strange environment.
3. Distraction from fear, pain, and anxiety.

In addition, another group of researchers found that music in combination with relaxation techniques aids in reducing pain during excercise and at rest. Music’s calming effects have been demonstrated by another group of researchers. They recruited 96 patients undergoing heart surgery and randomly assigned them to one of three groups.
1. Music therapy
2. Music-videotape therapy
3. Scheduled rest

Participants in the groups received their assigned 30-minute intervention at two times on postoperative days two and three. The results showed significant improvement in mood among participants in the music intervention group; however, no significant differences were reported for anxiety ratings. There were significant effects over time on heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which indicates a generalized relaxation response.

Yet another group of researchers carefully designed a study on the effects of music on 121 patients undergoing cataract surgery as outpatients. They were also allocated randomly into three groups.
1. Patients in the first group heard relaxing suggestions
2. Patients in the second group heard white noise and OR noise
3. Patients in the third group heard relaxing music

Patients in the group listening to relaxing music were found to be more satisfied than patients in the group listening to relaxing suggestions. Patients in the group who heard the white noise and OR noise were found to be the least satisfied, but there was no attendant reduction in levels of anxiety among members of the three groups.

Music has been acknowledged as an emotional science as it sets up a certain vibration resulting in a physical reaction. For every person there is a specific vibration that affect him. Each and every person feels engrossed and lost In music as per his feelings, emotions, thoughts or moods and finds an opportunity to express oneself. This outlet of oneself is a kind of purification and can greatly assist in lowering anxiety levels.

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