Singing For Health
Ever notice how a song in your heart just lifts your spirits? Well, all kinds of singing can have that positive effect. The act of singing releases endorphins in the body, the natural 'feel good' hormones we all possess. Even if you're just in a goofy mood and mocking a tune, full of drama and over exertion, it still creates a strong signal in the brain that makes us feel better. That's because it is scientifically proven to release stress.
Singing is exercise for the lungs. Singing in a group can unite us with a sense of belonging and community. It can provide a significant decrease in anxiety and lift us from depression. Using our breath as we do when we sing can have the same effect as aerobic exercise as it gets more oxygen into the blood and stimulates better circulation. Singing also necessitates deeper breathing, another anxiety reducer. The same deep breathing that is used in meditation and other relaxing techniques.
The challenge of learning new songs is also great for memory patterns in the brain, keeping neurotransmitters active and firing. We can find a focus in our efforts here, stimulating concentration for learning to blend harmonies and keeping in tempo. Learning new things in itself is a great way to fend off depression and the stalemate of repeated thoughts.
When children learn to flow sounds together, before they even know how to talk, they are learning the power of their own vocal creation. Singing can be especially powerfull for older adults, if only to keep in good company with ourselves. So whether you're carrying a tune as you walk about or have joined in to support the local choir, it's hard not to be smiling when you've got a song upon your lips!