“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ~ Berthold Auerbach
There are numerous ways by which music therapy can improve mental and physical health:
1) Beat the Boredom
As we age we tend to get lost in the silence of our minds and thoughts. Having soothing music playing through the day in the background gives one the feeling of having good company, and especially non-intrusive company. Add music to your daily routine. Begin your day with instrumental music of any genre and change the mood as the day goes by with some upbeat music from yesteryears. Finally as you sit in the evening with a cup of tea you can also switch to music that includes chanting to help you relax as you unwind for the day.
2) Stay Fit through Movement
Even the act of minimal movement such as tapping a foot or clapping hands is said to release pent-up mental and physical stress, and bring a little joy into life. If you are someone who likes to dance, dancing to music is a wonderful way to both exercise as well as distress your mind. Filling your mind with the rhythm of music can lower blood pressure and stimulate the organs of the body.
3) Move Away From Negative Thoughts
Listening to music is a stimulus that can shift negative thinking patterns. As we age we tend to reminisce about times gone by and often even get carried away in to a “what if” thought process. One can slowly get into the habit of negative thoughts. As a daily therapy, listening to music can begin to form a more positive thinking cycle by shifting your attention to the music.
4) Calm the Nerves
Just as singing a lullaby to a baby can work wonders, music can calm a nervous senior down. Select music that is slow and peaceful to evoke a sense of beauty and well-being in your mind. Sing along to songs that you are familiar with, sing like no one is watching and really lose yourself in the tune.
5) Reintroduce Happiness
Music has a way to transform the dullest of days in to bright sunny days! Seniors experiencing the loss of a loved one are advised to surround themselves with positivity, including happy music. Songs that bring back positive memories can be nostalgic to listen to and positive nostalgia is a good thing.
Have musical afternoons or evenings periodically. Invite friends or family over and have theme-based music get-togethers. It could be the genre of music, may be movie or even time based themes. Whether the music is listened to with headphones or enjoyed as a group, it is bound to lift one’s spirits and promote a greater sense of the life you live.
We hope this list encourages you to find the music in your life and re-discover the joy of being surrounded by notes and tunes to soothe your mind and lift your spirits!
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