Tonight (1.9) will be the grand final of the next star 2021, at Zappa LIVE Park Rishon Lezion. Everything is ready on the way to winning – the vote is already open for your election, the final quartet has released the songs with which they will try to win the hearts of the audience and the judges on the way to the grand prize, and we are all waiting with the confetti for the big winner. Too much stress is also not something that helps health, so we can take comfort in the fact that we will be a few more hours after that. In the meantime we went to see how music affects our body and mind, and found quite a few reasons to celebrate tonight’s grand finale.
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Anxiety antibodies with rhythm
In the last year and a half we have all sung more, hummed more and listened to music in every safe and possible way. From the singing of the mass balconies to periods without performances and events that connected us strongly to headphones, home speakers and live performances online. Research Recently tested the power of music to reduce anxiety and change negative feelings during the corona. The study was conducted by a group of researchers from around the world, led by Prof. Roni Granot from the Department of Musicology at the Hebrew University, and included thousands of subjects from 11 countries.
The research team conducted a survey among respondents that examined whether they suffer from depression, anxiety and stress during the period of virus spread. In addition, the researchers asked the subjects what are the goals related to mental well-being that are important to them such as maintaining a good mood, feeling together and reducing loneliness as well as which activities were effective for them in achieving the same goals. Music is on the list of activities that are considered to contribute to mental and physical well-being, such as: sports activities, reading or listening to books and raising pets.
Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli performs a selection of hymns in an empty cathedral against the backdrop of Rome’s desolate landscapes during the Closure:
An important role for exposure to music from an early age
The study found that music was found to be most effective in achieving most of the goals compared to the vast majority of activities. This finding is perceived as sweeping in all countries, independent of gender and influenced only slightly by the age of the listener. It turns out that older listeners tended to use music more than young people to deal with loneliness, while younger people used it more to achieve enjoyment and maintain a positive mood.
An interesting statistic that emerged from the study found that there is a strong relationship between the importance that the subjects attach to music in their lives, and the success of music in achieving the goals that are important to them. This statistic highlights the fact that the more we know about the positive effects of music on our lives, the more the songs we hear will have a positive effect on us.
“Whenever we choose what to listen to, we are actually doing a ‘self-care’ process that involves identifying (even if unconsciously) our emotional state, and tuning the music in order to amplify, or regulate it.” Prof. Granot summarizes the findings of the study. “Because the factor that best predicts whether music will benefit you is the importance you feel music has in your life. It plays an important role in exposure to music from an early age, music education, and participation in any joint musical activity including singing, dancing, playing, or going to music shows.”
5 more positive effects of music on the psyche:
- Releases dopamine and raises the mood. Music causes a rise in a positive mood to the point of arousing feelings of euphoria and passion. Studies that followed brain activity while listening to music found an increased release of dopamine that increased with listeners’ emotional arousal. Dopamine, a chemical that acts as a neurotransmitter and directs the communication between cells in the brain, plays a key role in our pleasure mechanism and is also secreted when we eat chocolate or feel satisfied after we have completed an oppressive task.
Feel like boosting your dopamine a bit? The following song will do the job:
- Allows for emotional release. The ability of music to activate several parts of the brain at the same time makes it a useful tool for rebuilding and strengthening pathways in the brain. Music can elicit a response both in the hippocampus, which plays a role in learning and memory, and in the amygdala, which is involved in the experience of emotions. Music therapists use the ability of music to trigger a variety of emotional states with their patients and as a way to express non-verbal content.
- Helps treat Alzheimer’s. More and more treatments for Alzheimer’s patients are consisting of playing music, while curbing cognitive decline. The living documentary inside, ALIVE INSIDE, documents the emotional power of music in general and its impact on the treatment of Alzheimer’s patients. The film, which won the Audience Favorite Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, depicts a surprising discovery by a social worker named Dan Cohen who discovered that music causes Alzheimer’s patients to move, respond and actually communicate while listening to music. These are patients who have not responded for months and years alongside a relatively young participant with Alzheimer’s, who finds herself active and communicates only within the music.
“What happens when you grow old is that all the things that were familiar, your identity – just peel away from you. Music connects people with who they were, with who they are now, with their lives “(from the film).
- Has a beneficial effect on the immune system. It turns out that listening to music not only reduces anxiety but can actively help keep the body from various diseases. The mental and emotional state of the person affects among other things the nervous system which can affect the immune system. It has been found that since music causes relaxation of the body, as a result the immune system is strengthened. Positive emotions that arise as a result of soothing music activate the parasympathetic system that stimulates the immune system.
- Mozart effect – effect on intelligence for 15 minutes. Listening to Mozart can temporarily increase a listener’s IQ and create additional positive effects on mental activity, such as performing cognitive tasks known as temporal spatial thinking. The Mozart effect, which began as a popular theory in the 1990s, gained momentum and even passed experiments among laboratory mice that proved spatial effectiveness after listening to Mozart’s sounds. Different countries incorporate pieces of classical music into the day-to-day activities of toddlers in government kindergartens.
The effects of classical music are even wider. A study found that listening to classical music by pregnant women can relieve stress and anxiety during pregnancy. The scientists distributed different styles of music to a group of pregnant women ranging from classical music to children’s songs in front of a group that did not listen to music. Results showed that the women in the music group were much less stressed, depressed, or anxious.
One of the songs that the researchers distributed to the women to listen to during pregnancy: