If singing isn’t something that comes naturally to you, maybe because you don’t like the sound of your voice or you don’t feel confident enough to bust out a song, then fear not, as these tips aren’t reliant on ability. Granted, there are many amazing singers out there in the world, people who have been given a vocal gift, there are equally some not so great singers. Either way, we think everyone can pick up these tips and take some benefits from them. Even if you’re singing in the car on the way to work, or in the shower where no one else can hear you, you’ll likely start to see some of these benefits.
Singing Can Boost Endorphin Levels
Music is capable of making us feel a full range of emotion, with our favourite songs evoking happiness and joy, and others that tell stories of sadness being able to pull on our heartstrings. It has also been linked to heightened endorphin levels, however, a published on the US National Library of Medicine website confirms that it is, in fact, the performance of music that is responsible for this boost, not the act of listening.
Endorphins are hormones that are secreted within the brain and nervous system that can have powerful effects on our physical and mental wellbeing. Typically, stress and pain are the two most common factors that contribute to the release of endorphins, which interact with the opiate receptors in our brain and can reduce the perception of pain and can be seen to act in a similar way to drugs such as codeine or morphine.
Singing Reduces Stress Levels
Cortisol is the hormone in our brains which is responsible for making us feel stressed. carried out across participants in South Wales showed that singing, and more specifically singing in a choir, reduced the levels of cortisol found in saliva samples. Although this is only a small sample group, this does give a great indication of the powerful effects of singing, especially when surrounded by others.
Singing Decreases Blood Pressure
A published on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology details how a patient of 76 years old showed decreased blood pressure after having total knee replacement surgery after having sung a number of religious songs. The patient seemed to be unresponsive to the attempts made by the doctors to lower her blood pressure, by using pharmacological interventions, but this alternative methods of reducing hypertension had excellent results.
The patient was admitted to the hospital for her surgery with a recorded blood pressure of 160/80mm Hg, which then rose to 240/120m Hg during the pre-operation period which caused doctors to postpone the surgery. The patient asked doctors to be able to sing as this is a technique she used to calm herself and aid with sleeping. After doing so, her blood pressure was recorded at 180/90mm Hg and after instruction from doctors to sing at certain points throughout the evening and nighttime, her blood pressure remained low enough for the operation to go ahead. Although this is a promising case study, the doctors have said that further studies will be required to correctly identify whether singing could be seen as a reliable alternative therapy for hypertension.
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