“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.“Berthold Auerbach
Music is the greatest creation man has ever made. It has the power to move us and free our souls. It’s the breathing of the earth and the lullaby of the universe.
In spirituality, music has the ability to bridge reality to the spiritual realm. It can uplift our spirits and transform us through the charming spell it radiates. It comforts our hearts and unites us despite our differences.
In this article, you will learn the significance of music in spirituality and its benefits when you listen to it.
What is The Role of Music in Spirituality? (The Power of Music)
Melissa Eisler from Chopra explained that as a universal language, music could speak with you and link you to the universe in an inexplicable and powerful manner.
It has the ability to create a healing environment that helps you transform and reach your truest essence. Music can resonate with your mind, body, and soul beyond the thresholds of our human understanding.
She added that the music you listen to could affect your overall well-being, whether you are listening to pop, ballad, worship songs, rock, and classical music.
Moreover, the Smithsonian expounds that music and spirituality are strongly intertwined with one another as spirituality is often the inspiration for the composition of music. While on the other hand, music is used to create the atmosphere desired for a spiritual occasion.
People have different definitions of spirituality, so some use music to enhance their religious practices and make their worship more meaningful. At the same time, others use music to find inner peace and purpose in their spiritual life, either by incorporating it with yoga, meditation, art therapy, and more.
John Vitz from Angelus music explained that listening to music can be a powerful spiritual experience. How music affects your emotions, and physical body greatly influences your spiritual well-being.
For instance, listening to spiritual music can uplift your mood, bring you closer to your faith, and help you see life from a much more meaningful angle.
The Effects of Music on The Soul
Have you ever felt the dancing and the breathing of your soul when you listen to music? If yes, this is because music can penetrate through our spirit and caress it with its magical serenade.
According to Kamran Ahmed from Stage Music Center, music works as food for your soul and sometimes as medicine to console your heart.
Music also has the power to implant positivity in your heart. It can boost your mood when you feel sad, provide energy when you feel down, and bring out your creative muse.
In fact, with the plethora of benefits music provides, music therapy is now widely accepted worldwide and is used by therapists for their patients.
A study by Sandi Curtis showed how music therapy helped enhance pain relief, relaxation, mood, confidence, and the resilience of patients in palliative care.
On the other hand, researchers Lora Koenig Heller and Paul Alexander proved in their study, The Use of Music as Therapy with the Dying and Bereaved, how music therapy:
- provided positive opportunities for emotional self-expression,
- reduced the perception of pain,
- and developed the acceptance of death to the patient and family members.
Music enriches our soul because it can express the emotions we can’t verbally express or help us relate to the message it conveys, telling us that we’re not alone in our adversaries.
The Benefits of Listening to Music
Music is one of the most powerful means to establish a connection with transport our consciousness beyond the physical world’s limitations than music.
Rosie Davies from the Scottish Ensemble explained that aside from playing music, listening to music can activate many parts of the brain, including those responsible for emotions, actions, and creativity. It exercises the brain and helps keep it engaged throughout the aging process.
Below are the profound benefits of listening to music.
1. Music boosts your mood.
Have you noticed how you become sad when you listen to a sorrowful melody and lively when you listen to upbeat songs? Well, this is not a coincidence, as different types of music can trigger different emotions in us.
McCraty et al. found that different types of music can affect our mood, tension levels, and mental clarity.
In their study, one hundred forty-four (144) respondents listened to four types of music (classical, New Age, designer, and grunge rock) for fifteen minutes.
With grunge rock, there was a significant increase in sadness, tension, and hostility. At the same time, there is a decrease in the respondents’ level of mental clarity, care, and relaxation.
On the other hand, New Age and classical music gave mixed emotions among the respondents, while designer music increased positive feelings and decreased negative feelings.
That’s why when you’re under the weather, choose the right music to uplift your spirit and help your body release dopamine (our happy hormone). It will boost your mood and help you see life from a brighter perspective.
2. Music soothes and strengthens your mind and body.
Depending on its tempo and intensity, music can soothe the body and make it want to move with its grooves.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, music can alter your brain chemistry, and its changes can positively affect your cardiovascular system.
When we listen to music, the brainstem first processes the sound. The brainstem is also responsible for controlling heart rate and respiration.
This connection could explain why soothing music can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate, easing stress, pain, and anxiety.
That’s why calming music has a comforting effect on your mind and body. It can help you relax, unwind, and relieve stress.
On the other hand, upbeat music can energize the body and increase the release of dopamine and serotonin, which triggers emotions of liveliness and happiness.
When you’re aiming to release yourself from stress, you can choose relaxing music like Bach’s Air on the G String and Debussy’s Claire de Lune.
But if you aim for a productive day, you can opt for uplifting classics like Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Sonata No. 17 in C. Any music will do as long as they resonate with your personality and music faves.
3. Music decreases your response to stress.
In our fast-paced world, your sources of stress are endless. Anywhere you go, there are plenty of factors that can negatively affect your mood. Fortunately, you can reduce your stress response by listening to music.
Melissa Eisler shared that when you are in stressful situations, remove yourself from the root of the stress first and listen to music that calms and uplifts your spirits.
Your smartphone and other available devices can serve as your relaxation kit. Prepare a playlist that compiles all the music that gives you positive vibes, and listen to them whenever you’re stressed.
4. Music increases your concentration.
Today, lo-fi music and other types of music genres created to increase focus and productivity are in trend all over the internet.
That’s why when working on something, especially house chores, there’s a great possibility that you’ll first play your favorite playlist to prompt your energy levels.
Studies have suggested that listening to music can help increase concentration and motivation. However, it’s important to be careful with the type of music you will listen to based on the activity you’ll be doing.
A study by Thompson et al. from the University of Toronto shows that loud music can agitate learners rather than help them focus. It also negatively affects the students’ reading comprehension, which makes it not helpful for learning.
At the same time, a study by Lehmann and Seufert found that music (especially those with lyrics) can sometimes worsen a learner’s reading comprehension and working memory.
Soft music without lyrics will be the best choice when you listen to music while studying. In contrast, upbeat music will be great for physical activities requiring great energy levels.
5. Music brings out your creativity.
Kamran Ahmed explained that music positively affects the creative functions of the brain. In fact, many creative people like Vincent Van Gogh listen to music to find inspiration and set the mood when working.
A study by Ritter and Ferguson found that participants who listened to happy music portrayed a higher level of creativity compared to those who performed their activities in silence.
Depending on your creative theme, choosing the perfect music to put you into the zone will be helpful for your concentration and motivation.
6. Music enhances your self-awareness.
According to Melissa Eissler, self-awareness, and discovery are important for your personal growth. A deeper understanding of yourself will allow you to discover your Dharma and help you contribute your unique talents to the world.
She explained that there are different ways to cultivate self-awareness, one of which is listening to music. This practice has been confirmed to help people know more about who they are, their aspirations, and how they want to create their path.
The music we listen to carries a piece of us at some point. So when you’re in doubt and feel detached from yourself, try tuning in with your favorite song and let your soul find yourself again.
7. Music unites people.
“The power of music lies in its ability to speak to all aspects of the human being the animal, the emotional, the intellectual, and the spiritual. Music teaches us that everything is connected.”Daniel Barenboim
Despite our backgrounds and differences, music has the power to bring people together. It is our universal language that connects us by the heart through the rhythm and melody it resonates throughout the universe.
Music helps us know that we are not alone. Sometimes it becomes a bridge to promote peace and a weapon to fight discord and evil. But most of the time, music is just a binding string that brings humanity closer to one another.
According to Shahram Heshmat from Psychology Today, music is a powerful tool that unites people by promoting empathy, trust, and a sense of community.
He explained that when we dance and sing together, we become connected through a shared goal and intention.
8. Music brings us to spirituality.
Throughout history, music has been part of spiritual practices. In its different forms, music has been used in rituals and ceremonies. It brings us to something greater than ourselves and helps improve the quality of our spirituality and life.
At its essence, music can be regarded as the sound of a person’s spirit. It can be the ultimate spiritual expression of the highest order if created right from the heart and has pure intention and truth.
It can also be a universal expression of spirituality, containing our wishes and aims to walk the spiritual path.
Noah Potvin from the Oxford University Press explained that music is incorporated with spiritual practices to amplify transpersonal components of meditation, ritual, and worship.
He added that musical experiences are created with a hint of spiritual-based practices and beliefs to provide us with a meaningful connection with ourselves and others in profound and remarkable ways.
Music and spirituality have been so intertwined that their differences are fluid. Noah Potvin emphasized that to be spiritual is to be musical. And to be musical is to be spiritual.
9. Music Strengthens your faith.
Cultural Infusion explains that an important purpose of religious music is to enhance the effects of the lyrics and words being sung by worshippers. This type of music facilitates deep emotions in the worshippers and sometimes acts as an invitation for new believers.
Aside from this, religious music unites worshippers and helps strengthen their resolve against life challenges.
The study of Bradshaw et al. found that some religious music (like gospel music) evokes hope and optimism in worshippers. Their study suggests that people who listen to religious music feel less afraid of death. They are also reported to have increased self-esteem and better quality of life.
Wrapping It Up!
In spirituality, music has the ability to bridge reality to the spiritual realm. It can encourage our spirits and change us through its charming spell.
Music can resonate with your mind, body, and soul beyond the thresholds of our human understanding. It is also strongly intertwined with spirituality, as spirituality is often the inspiration for creating music, and music is used to enhance the influence of spiritual practices.
When you feel down, there’s music to give you an energy boost and tell you that you are not alone. It can also be your bridge to knowing yourself more and discovering your unique gifts.
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