Are you afraid to sing at a family gathering or in the privacy of your bedroom because you feel it won’t be music to people’s ears? Don’t sweat it. Bring out the Madonna in you because singing has multiple physical, mental and spiritual benefits. The Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health has undertaken extensive research to support their aim of getting the National Health Service in the United Kingdom to provide medical practitioners the option of “singing on prescription.” As compiled from time.com, here are five reasons why you should sing.
Boosts cardiovascular health:
Singing is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. It decreases risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease.
Stimulates the brain:
Singing requires memorising lyrics and following a melody as well as connecting words with emotion. Breathing while singing brings more oxygen to the brain, which results in neurons firing, enhancing mental awareness, concentration and memory.
When you sing, your brain releases feel-good chemicals including endorphins. This makes singing an effective mood lifter and a valuable tool in alleviating depression. Singing with a group develops a sense of community and belonging, thereby reducing anxiety. Singing is even used as therapy for people with cancer, dementia and for stroke survivors.
Other than time, music is a great healer. Singing has similar effects on the body and mind. It ensures physical, mental, psychological and social well-being. It also improves the posture and breathing, as it increases the capacity of the respiratory system.
Singing helps develop skills to speak in a natural, powerful and confident voice. It can improve your ability to use your speaking voice with more clarity and confidence. Singing releases a hormone called oxytocin, which helps reduce anxiety, thus helping you overcome your fear of public speaking. Oxytocin also increases feelings of trust, which strengthens confidence in not only yourself but also those around you.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2014.
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