Researchers say your iPod playlist could help to treat anxiety

We all know music can have a soothing effect, but how many of us automatically reach for it in the height of stressful or anxious period?

Well, according to neurologic music therapist, Elizabeth Nightingale, listening to music during an anxious period can have a profoundly positive physiological impact.

From lowering your blood pressure and slowing your heart rate to reducing stress hormones, the power of music cannot be underestimated.

“Classical music has been found to induce relaxation and increase dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that helps elevate mood,” Eliazabeth of Chiltern Music Therapy explains.

“But music is subjective, so anything that you find calming will have these physiological benefits and will help to reduce anxiety."

It is, however, important to remember that you need to give your chosen music your complete focus if you want it to have the desired effect.

"If there aren’t any competing stimuli, the music is given the maximum chance to benefit," Elizabeth continues.

This theory has been examined in recent years by Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, who studies the neuroscience of music at McGill University in Montreal

Levitan found that music improves the body's immune system function and reduces stress.

His research which was published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences in 2013 and established that listening to music was also found to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety in a patient prior to surgery.

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