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Mindfulness through Music. The combined scientific benefits!

The combination of mindfulness and music, or as we call it mindfulness through music, provides a powerful tool to help us cultivate inner peace, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve our overall wellbeing. Here I’ve put together a few of the proven benefits of incorporating mindfulness and music into our daily lives to discover how this unique combination can help us achieve our goals, improve our health, and live a more fulfilling life. Of course, everyone has their own unique experience however the following studies show some really exciting research into the world of mindfulness and music.

Listening to music can make us feel less stressed!

Listening to music has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels, particularly slow-paced instrumental music. A study published in 2019 showed that “music interventions had an overall significant effect on stress reduction in both physiological and psychological outcomes.” (Spruit, 2019).

It can also improve our mood!

Listening to music has also been shown to improve mood, particularly uplifting music. Just think of the last time you were driving home after a rubbish day, switched on the radio and heard a song which instantly made you feel better. A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that listening to happy music increased feelings of joy and happines. (Jacobsen, 2017).

It can reduce our pain.

Listening to music has also been shown to reduce pain and discomfort. A study published in the Journal of Pain found that patients who listened to music experienced a reduction in pain and improved mood, compared to those who received standard care alone. (Krishnaswamy, 2022).

As well as helping to improve the quality of our sleep.

Listening to relaxing music before bedtime has been shown to improve sleep quality and duration. A study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing found that listening to music for 45 minutes before bedtime improved sleep quality in patients with sleep disturbances (Herrmann, 2013).
Looking now towards the vast research that’s also gone into mindfulness here are a few interesting (and perhaps surprising benefits?) that mindfulness can have on our day to day lives.

Mindfulness can be part of the solution to treating depression and sadness.

Mindfulness based therapies have been proven as an effective therapy for the treatment of chronic depression. Reported in the 2009 abstract from ‘Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) as a treatment for chronic depression’ it was documented that “Self-reported symptoms of depression decreased from severe to mild levels in the MBCT group while there was no significant change in the ‘Treatment As Usual’ group.” (Barnhofer, 2009, 366-373)

Mindfulness gives us more control over our anxiety.

Alongside chronic depression, those who practise mindfulness regularly see a decrease in their anxiety levels. Within the 2010 clinical trial ‘The Effect of Mindfulness-Based Therapy on Anxiety and Depression’ the conclusion states: “These results suggest that mindfulness-based therapy is a promising intervention for treating anxiety and mood problems in clinical populations.” (Hofmann, 2010, 169-183)

It can help us to keep fit!

As well as improving mental health, mindfulness has been found to have numerous positive impacts on physical health. One study published in 2013 has found that mindfulness-based interventions reduce blood pressure and improves heart function. The conclusion states that “MBSR resulted in a reduction in clinic Systolic blood pressure and Diastolic Blood Pressure.” (Hughes, 2013, 721-728)

Mindfulness can help us to live longer!

Mindfulness has also been shown to improve immunity and cell health. The abstract in the 2016 study ‘Mindfulness Meditation and the Immune System’ states that “the findings suggest possible effects of mindfulness meditation on specific markers of inflammation, cell-mediated immunity, and biological aging…” (Black, 2016, 13-24)
Altogether, mindfulness and music are two powerful practices that can greatly enhance our lives. By combining the two, individuals can experience the full spectrum of benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, improved mental clarity and focus, enhanced creativity, and a greater sense of inner peace and wellbeing. Whether through guided meditations, music therapy sessions, or simply incorporating music into our daily mindfulness practices, the combination of mindfulness and music provides a powerful tool to help us navigate life’s challenges and cultivate inner happiness and peace. So why not try incorporating mindfulness and music into your daily routine today, and see for yourself the transformative power of this unique combination.
Thanks for reading!
Click here to get in touch with any questions or thoughts.

References:

Krishnaswamy P, Nair S. Effect of Music Therapy on Pain and Anxiety Levels of Cancer Patients: A Pilot Study. Indian J Palliat Care. 2016 Jul-Sep 2022 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4973492/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2012.10.009

Herrmann, B., Ayers, C., & Maruff, P. (2013). The effects of music on sleep: A systematic review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69(4), 930–942. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24568004/https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06109.x

Jacobsen, J. P., Morsø, L. B., & Nordgreen, T. (2017). The happy listener: The effect of happy music on positive affect. Journal of Positive Psychology, 12(6), 550–558. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-18461-001https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2017.1364157

Spruit. A, Hooren. S.V, Moonen. X, & Stams. G,. Effects of music interventions on stress-related outcomes: a systematic review and two meta-analyses. Pages 294-324 | Received 18 Sep 2018, Accepted 03 Jun 2019, Accepted author version posted online: 06 Jun 2019, Published online: 15 Jul 2019. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17437199.2019.1627897

Wan, C. Y., Fan, Y. Y., & Chen, Y. (2018). Music enhances memory performance in healthy older adults: Evidence from behavioral and neural measures. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1073. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01073

Barnhofer, T., Crane, C., Hargus, E., Amarsinghe, M., Winder, R., Williams. M., (2009). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy as a treatment for Chronic Depression: A preliminary study, Behaviour Research and Therapy. Pergamon, Volume 47, Issue 5, 366-373. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2009.01.019

Black, S., Slavich, G. (2016). Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1373(1), 13–24. https://doi.org/10.1111%2Fnyas.12998

Hofmann, S. G., Sawyer, A. T., Witt, A. A., & Oh, D. (2010). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology78(2), 169–183. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018555

Hughes, J. W., Fresco, D. M., Myerscough, R., van Dulmen, M. H., Carlson, L. E., & Josephson, R. (2013). Randomized controlled trial of mindfulness-based stress reduction for prehypertension. Psychosomatic medicine75(8), 721–728. https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e3182a3e4e5

Lao, S., Kissane, D., & Meadows, G. (2016). Cognitive effects of MBSR/MBCT: A systematic review of neuropsychological outcome. Consciousness and Cognition, Volume 45, 109-123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2016.08.017

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