Hey everyone! We all know that stress can sit on the brain like a ton of bricks; or press on your chest like a huge bowling ball. But this week, I researched another method that is sure to banish that stress, among other things. In addition, what if I told you that you never had to change your daily routine to keep that stress away? Well, this is all true. The researchers at the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) have found that just listening to music can benefit the body in the following ways:

1. Music can improve mental health and slow dementia. Studies have shown that elderly patients who listen to music frequently have a better, more positive mindset and a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as well as other aging-related health conditions. In addition, those with mental disabilities who listen to music frequently also have shown to be more focused and attentive.

2. In teenagers, music has shown to be an instant outlet for stress. In this case whether it is playing an instrument or just listening to an iPod, music of any genre has been shown to improve the mind and ultimately the lifestyle of the typical teenager. Even in super-stressed households with complete anarchy from little brothers or sisters, just sitting in a secluded location listening to music can improve the teen physically, mentally, and socially by relieving his/her mind of the day’s worries, anxieties, and concerns.

3. Finally, music has been cited to promote physical rehabilitation. Studies have shown that hospitalized patients who often listen to music have healed better physically. This is because music improves the brain’s state of well-being, enhances memory, and releases “feel-good” endorphins which act as the body’s natural pain-killers. Therefore, if your grandfather has broken his leg and you literally want to see him back on his feet dancing, play a sprightly record or two to do the trick!

Therefore in conclusion, each of the three suggestions that I have made are all forms of what is called “music therapy”. Practiced by people of all ages, music therapy can produce effects on the brain that are far beyond supernatural, with some researchers suggesting that it is the only medication that can reverse aging; physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is truly an experience that can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and other unfortunate health conditions. So do yourself a favor and crank up those iPods; you just may save yourself a lot of stress!

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