“Where words fail, music speaks.” — Hans Christian Andersen
As previously mentioned in this blog, Music is one of the best tools you can use to help ease your anxiety. (5 Reasons to listen to Music)
Neuroscientists have done extensive research into this subject and have even narrowed down what sort of music works best to reduce anxious feelings.
Their research was conducted on a group of people who were provided with difficult puzzles to solve as quickly as possible while connected to sensors. Working on the puzzles caused a degree of stress in the test subjects as they focused on the activity. They were given different songs to listen to as they worked while researchers measured brain activity as well as heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breathing.
One song — “Weightless” — resulted in an impressive 65 percent reduction overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in the physical readings.
This same song was actually composed specifically by Marconi Union to do just that. The group worked with sound therapists to construct harmonies, rhythms and baselines to bring about a reduction in cortisol levels and blood pressure, as well as a slowing of heart rate. It is so relaxing that many women become drowsy while listening to it. The researchers advise against playing the song whilst driving.
Here are the top ten songs as rated by the research team. Remember NO DRIVING whist listening to them, but do make the most of their relaxing properties
10. “We Can Fly,” by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar)
9. “Canzonetta Sull’aria,” by Mozart
8. “Someone Like You,” by Adele
7. “Pure Shores,” by All Saints
6. “Please Don’t Go,” by Barcelona
5. “Strawberry Swing,” by Coldplay
4. “Watermark,” by Enya
3. “Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix),” by DJ Shah
2. “Electra,” by Airstream
1. “Weightless,” by Marconi Union
Whether you use these songs as a backdrop to your everyday chores, or to help you fall asleep, or even as a soundtrack to a walk, enjoy the experience. Let your mind relax and drift as the sound wafts around and through you.
I play “Weightless” while I meditate. I find it absolutely beautiful. My whole body seems to ‘unclench’ itself as I listen and I find that my breathing is slower and deeper.
Give it a try. I hope it works for you too.