ANOLENE THANGAVELU PILLAY
Music is like words to the soul, just like words are to the mind. We are the generation that witnessed multiple generations of musicians turning to excess drug use and coping mechanisms that have led to their destruction.
Addressing mental health concerns and using music as therapy to remove stigma is a responsibility we all have. The power of music is crucial for our mental health and well-being, as it brings positive energy to our state of mind.
The beginnings of written-down music was liturgy (worship), which was discovered to have had a connection with the idea of our meditative state. It’s more like having the ability to heal wounds that medicine cannot cure.
Music is the language of the spirit, and the soul becomes gradually intertwined as it uncovers the secrets of life, bringing peace and ending strife. Musical instruments such as drums, ocarinas and chimes have been used to decorate the tombs of Chinese leader’s for thousands of years. Their tombs in pictorial depictions of musical instruments have been found on monuments and temples from these ancient civilisations.
In 1040 CE, Guido of Arezzo created a system that allowed composers to compose works with multiple melodies, influencing how music is written today. When listening to cultural music, it’s crucial to be open to enjoying diverse interpretations.
Perhaps, music that is diverse is loved by everyone. For more than 40 000 years, music has been a part of human culture. In 2009, an archaeologist discovered a flute made from a vulture’s wing bone during their cave excavation, which is one of the oldest musical instruments.
According to a recent study published in Nature Neuroscience, the brain’s levels of the feel-good chemical dopamine increased by up to 9% when people listened to music they enjoyed. Music listeners can confirm its sentiment by noticing its stress-relieving effects, inspires creativity and provides peace of mind during challenging times.
When music touches us emotionally, our psychological stress response decreases, speeding up our nervous system’s recovery. This happens to people who suffer from physical and psychological conditions, such as dementia, grief, anxiety, depression, cancer and chronic physical pain. Music is a remedy that soothes us when weary and re-inspires us, leaving us with immense joy, as it lifts us out of depression or tears.
The chills you feel when you hear a particular moving piece of music enhances our moods to trigger sensations of magnificence. Music sounds allow our soul to become filled with energy and vitality by music, just like our bodies need food and energy to thrive in this world. Music has an energising effect with profound effect on our mind and bodies. It sounds cliché, but music can be used as a way to escape the harshness of reality. “It’s the only way to put those thoughts on pause.” Boost exercise fitness allows us to possess the miracle power of music by curing a few mental issues, reducing anxiety, nervousness, improving self-esteem and insomnia.
The part of the brain, amygdala, is responsible for processing music which supports our physical, mental and emotional health. Listening to upbeat music has the beneficial power to elevate positive moods. Music and sound bring attention to the majesty and mystery of the natural world of music irrespective of diversity.
The limbic system, which is involved in processing emotions and controlling memory lights up when we listen to music. The wisdom of the world of music can catch hold of peace deep within and push it into the cells of our body allowing peace and music to remedy our mental health.
Music in forms of celebrations remains a powerful way of uniting people through national anthems, protest songs during marches, love songs during dating, hymns during worships or lullabies which help the young fall asleep. When words are not enough to express ourselves, music is a beautiful form of expression.
Music’s healing power can provide us with a sense of connection, support and understanding during difficult moments. Music has a divine ability that can remove all obstacles from our mind, especially when we feel the world is against us. The meaning behind music is not centred on the focus of the past or future, but rather on an extended present. Music in itself is healing and an explosive expression of humanity.
The power of music is a gift from above, helping to wash away our everyday stresses, a great influence on us. It’s definitely a transporting experience, taking you back to a time when magically unforgettable moments happened in your life years ago. This is uplifting, encouraging and strengthening, cuts through all boundaries, granting wings to the mind, flight to your imagination and the more you let go, the higher you rise. Let music be your heaven, play on!
Anolene Thangavelu Pillay is a psychology adviser.