Whether you have an anxiety disorder or not, feeling nervous, worried, or afraid are all common reactions to the many situations that life has to offer. Everyone has their own method of finding calm whether it’s yoga routines, spending time in nature, or maybe reading a book. One popular method that you may have tried, is to listening to music.
But what if I told you that one song specifically has been proven to reduce anxiety?
Anxiety Vs. Anxiety Disorder
Before we get into this amazing discovery, let’s clear the air about what anxiety actually is.
Anxiety itself is a natural human response to difficult or challenging situations. When you are faced with a potentially dangerous or threatening situation your body responds with a rush of adrenaline and other alarms such as an increased heartbeat, greater sensitivity to surroundings, and sweating. This is known as the “fight-or-flight” response and is actually just your body preparing you to physically meet the challenge or flee from it.
In today’s day and age we aren’t often placed in life-threatening situations where we will need to literally fight or run away. We still can, however, react with anxiety to more prevalent issues such as finances, work, health, or family life.
Anxiety disorder is a mental illness or condition that cause someone to react out of proportion to a certain situation. This can include emotional reactions such as panic or frequent worrying. It can also present as physical reactions such as increased blood pressure or nausea.
There are many different types of anxiety disorders, but the six main types are generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobia, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and separation anxiety disorder. Because there are so many different types of anxiety disorders, it is the most common group of illnesses in the United States, affecting around 40 million people today. (1)
Music Therapy For Anxiety
Just as there are many methods for reducing feelings of anxiety, there are also methods for reducing the affects of anxiety disorders such as medication and therapy. Music therapy is one particularly interesting method that has been proven to reduce anxiety. (2)
In a study done by Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson, neuroscientist of of Minilab International, one song in particular was proven to reduce anxiety by 65%. The song is “Weightless” by Marconi Union. In the study Dr. Lewis-Hodgson’s participants were asked to perform certain tasks while listening to calming songs. Compared to all other music when the participants listened to “Weightless,” they noticed the the greatest sense of relaxation during the tasks.
Marconi Union even worked along with sound and music therapists to create the song for exactly this purpose. The composition was carefully designed to slow the heart rate, lower the stress hormone cortisol, and reduce blood pressure. The song’s 8 minutes of beautiful and relaxing melodies, have been shown to calm someone down enough to fall right asleep.
Dr. Lewis-Hodgson recommends to refrain from listening to the song while driving because it can really make you drowsy! (3)
Finding Your Personal Calm
Anxiety and anxiety disorders can really affect your day-to-day life and even become extremely debilitating if left untreated. So whether its medication, yoga, or putting “Weightless” on repeat throughout your day, find the solution that works for you in order to reduce anxiety and find your personal calm.