We all know daily servings of fruits and vegetables are key in keeping us healthy, but what about our daily dose of music? Just as exercise, eating right, and sufficient sleep are needed to keep body and mind fit, so is music. Sure listening to is also beneficial, but we are talking about something far more magical–making music.
While most of us love and appreciate music to varying degrees, those among us who actually make it are among the happiest, and believe it or not, the healthiest. With so much emphasis placed on keeping the body healthy, it’s time we focus on our minds as well. So while you are busy making your Pilates schedule and running to the organic market, take a moment to think about something else that is immeasurably good for your health, playing an instrument.
Besides looking killer on your college resume, let’s run down some of the downright astounding benefits of playing an instrument.
Keeps The Mind Sharp
For those who start playing at a young age, the benefits are tenfold. Playing an instrument as a child or adolescent helps preserve the mind keeping it sharp as we age. In the long run, this can mean keeping diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay.
Furthering this point, in several cognitive tests performed by researchers those who knew how to play an instrument or read music scored significantly higher on cognitive tests than those who didn’t. Playing also has the ability to increase your IQ by several points. Quick, what’s eight multiplied by nineteen!? Thought so.
A Natural Chill Pill
Still not convinced about the benefits of making sweet, sweet music? Studies have found that playing an instrument significantly decreases levels of stress, anxiety, and depression while lowering blood pressure and decreasing risk of heart disease and other vascular problems.
Improves Immune Function
Find yourself frequently sick? There is mounting proof that suggests those who play an instrument have healthier immune systems and are better able to ward against cold, flues, and viruses. Bring on the winter.
Increases Memory & Concentration
So you’ve forgotten your sister in-law’s mother’s name for the fourth time this month. Playing an instrument can help! Making music increases memory capabilities, especially among those who are able to read it.
Want to stop zoning out at important meetings (sometimes)? Playing music increases discipline, focus, and overall concentration.
It’s A Wonderful Outlet
Besides relieving stress, playing an instrument is a wonderful form of self- expression. So before you going dying your hair or buying that Porsche (hem hem, we’re looking at you Steve and your mid-life crisis) think about taking up an instrument. It’s truly a fantastic way to express yourself mind, body, and soul. With the increased recognition the benefits of music have recently gained for mental health, music therapy has also gained increasing momentum lauded for its ability to help patients with ailments ranging from physical to emotional.
See Also: 3 Ways Playing an Instrument is like Working Out
So for all you folks out there still without an instrument (no your recorder from 3rd grade does not count), now’s the time, go make music!