Anxiety and depression are common mood disorders that plague millions of people every year, with symptoms spanning disinterest or loss of appetite. Some more severe symptoms involve insomnia or constant fatigue, and many of the symptoms are left untreated.
Both disorders can disrupt everyday life for people and cause them many challenges. For example, sometimes it can be difficult just to get out of bed in the morning. If you suffer from these feelings and symptoms, you should contact your health care provider right away.
Since music has a powerful impact on our physical and emotional well-being, both physically and emotionally, experts believe that depression and anxiety can be treated with proper music therapy. In addition, music helps to boost the release of endorphins, giving us a heightened and euphoric feeling, which can be great for combatting anxiety and depression, especially with independent artists who play.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE UNDERGOES MUSIC THERAPY?
Music therapy is the method of utilizing music interventions to achieve individual, customized goals with the help of a professional. Usually, music therapists have received some sort of certification in an approved music therapy program so that they can address your goals.
Besides alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression, music therapy can also help people to:
- Manage their stress
- Be more expressive and communicative about their feelings
- Improve memory recall
- Physical rehabilitation
Music therapy utilizes music to address these cognitive, physical, and emotional needs. Methods of music therapy vary. They can include just listening to music or listening while performing some sort of activity.
Music therapy can also include playing an instrument, and therapists can provide beginner piano lessons for adults if the person undergoing treatment does not know how to play. In addition, musicians and independent artists can benefit from recognizing the effects that playing or singing has on their well-being.
MUSIC THERAPY FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
While music alone does not treat anxiety or depression, music therapy can be utilized alongside medications to help change signs and symptoms from feeling less interested, loss of appetite, and fatigue.
Some studies were performed by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), where the effects of music therapy were examined on those dealing with depression and anxiety. They discovered that the therapy provided those suffering with multiple benefits, which included:
- Reducing feelings of depression/anxiety
- Improved social interaction among peers
- Increase in confidence and motivation
- Less stressful behaviors and muscle tension
With these kinds of results, it is easy to say that music therapy is an excellent tool in aiding those dealing with bouts of depression and anxiety. Music has provided people with the ability to regulate their moods and help heal symptoms.
MUSIC THERAPY FOR INDEPENDENT ARTISTS
Independent music artists often suffer from burnout, especially if they consistently play and perform to gain exposure for their careers. While playing music is a form of therapy, there are alternate ways to use music in a therapeutic way to cope with the stressors of being a musician or independent artist.
When music therapy is used more actively, artists may work more internally, compose musical works, and take music lessons in another instrument. Music can also be used passively in therapy to help with healing and reflection through meditation or exercise.
Other activities where music is used in tandem with another therapeutic activity include listening to music while drawing, painting, photography, or writing. The end goal is to help artists to understand their feelings and have the ability to understand and express them more thoroughly. In addition, using music in various ways can help to cope with mood swings or feelings of anxiety that come with a full schedule or loss of interest in the music they once loved.
ADVANTAGES OF MUSIC THERAPY FOR MENTAL HEALTH
Music has been known to provide people and students with many benefits. Music therapy studies have discovered that individuals have utilized music either passively or actively and achieved terrific results. Some of those advantages to improving mental health include:
- Mood Regulation – When patients in music therapy become more self-aware of their emotional responses, they can choose music that will help to uplift their spirits and promote the release of endorphins in the brain. Recognizing signs and listening to or performing music that helps make you feel better has profound effects.
- Concentration and Memory – When listening or playing music, the mind is also working on focus and concentrating, whether to play a piece by memory or focus on a task at hand. Self-awareness is vital here as well. Depending on what type or genre of music helps to motivate you to concentrate better can determine how sharp your focus becomes and improve your brain’s ability to process information.
- Stress Relief – certain types of music can help people with triggers or stressors to release tension and relax. Usually, the best genres and styles of music for this include meditative instrumental, chanting, or hymns.
These are just how music therapy can be applied for a specific symptom to improve mental health. With the assistance of a music therapist or professional to help treat your symptoms, you can quickly assess and create an action plan with music together to address your needs.
MUSIC THERAPY TO ENHANCE YOUR HEALTH
It is essential to understand that while music therapy has many benefits, you should not treat symptoms of anxiety or depression with music alone. Instead, speak to your doctor or a specialist about the signs you have been experiencing. Do not be afraid to ask for music therapy to be a part of your treatment.
Working with a music therapist will help you to identify the root causes of your symptoms and use music as a means to help regulate your mood, along with other prescribed medications or treatments. Your therapist can help you to create music playlists to promote mood shifts and ease tension.
Music therapy is a viable and valuable coping strategy for negative feelings involving depression or anxiety within your life. Studies performed to demonstrate that music can help provide comfort and change your mood during times of need. The power of music should not be underestimated and will continue to help artists and others dealing with mood disorders for years to come.
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Nicole spends her days contributing to music blogs, penning new songs, and learning new production skills. She finds great joy in sharing her insight with other musicians trying to make it in the industry.