How Music Can Reduce Stress & Regulate Moods

In the modern world, we often find ourselves in situations where stress can take control of our mind and body, affecting our mood, wellness, and interactions with others. Whether you live a relatively laid back, stress-free lifestyle or you find that stress negatively impacts your day to day life, we will all arrive in a moment during our lifetime where we need to learn how to understand and deal with stress.

There have been numerous studies on the effect that listening to music can have on both stress levels and mood. This research has commonly supported the incredibly positive change that can be achieved when incorporating music listening into various day to day activities as well as some more challenging unusual tasks.

Which genre should I listen to?

Of course, not all genres of music will have the same emotional effect on individual listeners. Factors such as musical genre preference and the listener’s current mood will affect how music is received. However, it has been suggested that stress levels can still be reduced even if you don’t particularly like the music you are listening to. For example, you may not be the biggest fan of heavy metal but listening in a stressful situation could still help to reduce your overall stress levels.

Jazz and Classical music are said to be the most effective across the board in reducing stress levels, improving mood, and even increasing brain function. Cortisol is a stress hormone released in the body to help in dealing with a stressful situation. For example, in history, stresses were more likely to come from escaping a predator. This stress hormone tells the body to send more energy to your muscles helping you to run away faster. Now, it’s not too often in modern times that we find ourselves running from predators but the same theory still applies. Research has shown that Classical music can effectively lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisone and cortisol. You may also be happy to know that it is not just classical music that can have a positive effect on your sleep. “Weightless” by Marconi Union is said to be one of the most relaxing songs ever created.

How does it work?

There are many possible reasons why listening to music can help to reduce stress levels and improve mood. Perhaps the most obvious is its ability to drown out surrounding irritating noises, distractions, or negativity. Simply putting on some headphones and pressing play can help your focus and prevent you from becoming distracted by conversations going on around you for example.

Have you ever felt that need to drive fast whilst listening to high tempo music in the car? This is a prime example of how music can provoke certain emotions and reactions in the human body. Observed with an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, fast music of 120-130 beats per minute can increase anxiety. Now let’s think about the opposite scenario…low tempo music of about 50-60 beats per minute can alone reduce the heart rate and blood pressure. Low tempo music that incorporates softly rounded melodies along with elements of nature such as rain, birds, or waves can have even more of an impact, helping to slow your breathing and reduce the release of those dreaded stress hormones.

How does music help during meditation?

Shutting out the distractions around you and focusing on your breathing can be challenging if you are perhaps in a noisy, or heavy traffic environment. During meditation, listening to music can give you a helping hand in shutting out those irritating distractions. When listening to music during meditation, many find that the endless chatter usually going on inside the brain will begin to fade and thoughtlessness can be achieved, in turn bringing you closer to that meditative state you want to reach. Although music can be an incredible aid to all levels, it can be particularly helpful to those who are new to meditation and need that extra bit of help when trying to focus.

As we said before, you should find your own preference when it comes to meditation music. However, there are of course some commonly utilized types of music for meditation such as instrumental tracks, chanting, and ambient noise including rain and waterfall sounds. If you are new to meditation you may find that you find yourself thinking about the music too much. You should try to focus on the feelings in your body that the music evokes rather than the music itself.

According to google trends there has been a significant increase in people seeking out meditation music since the early 2000’s and rightly so. With a combination of increased educational resources regarding the benefit of meditation along with pretty much any music you could ever want available online, sites such as youtube have become great platforms for sourcing a perfect meditation playlist.

How else can music benefit me?

Although stress reduction is the focus of many studies and much research in recent years, there are other benefits that music can have on both your body and mind.

Improves Exercise – It has been proven that listening to music whilst exercising can promote incredible improvements in not only mental stimulation but physical as well. This in turn increases overall performance. Music has also been proven to be a huge motivator when it comes to aerobic exercise.

Eases Pain & Promotes Healing – Similarly to meditation, music listening can be a great tool when it comes to injury or surgery recovery. Plenty of studies have shown that patients who incorporated music into their care program felt less pain and had a more positive recovery process.

Improves Memory – Music listening has shown to be not only an incredibly effective way to prevent memory loss but also a tool to retrieve lost memories. The melody and rhythm within music can help our brains to create patterns that in turn improve recollection and retainment of memories.

Improved Intimacy & Relationships – When used in conjunction with meditation, music listening can promote improvements in not only your relationships with friends, families, colleagues, and partners but can also help to improve intimacy. Music & meditation together can help you understand, recognize, and deal with emotions that you have been struggling with.

Improves eating habits – It may be surprising to know that listening to music and meditation can actually have a positive impact on eating habits. It is common knowledge that emotions such as sadness and conditions such as depression can encourage overeating or comfort eating. Meditation and music can help you to manage these emotions without the help of food. Music can also help you to relax whilst eating, lowering your heart rate and in turn the speed at which you are eating. This is likely to make you fuller faster and therefore eat less.

Improves sleep – The parasympathetic nervous system affects how you relax and prepare for sleep. Studies have shown that this system is positively affected, promoting a more restful and consistent sleep in those who listen to about 40-45 minutes of relaxing music before bed. The effectiveness of this theory really does depend on the type of music you listen to.

In conclusion, whatever the activity or goal, there is no denying that music can have an incredibly positive impact on our lives when utilized correctly. For more information check out 15 Incredible Ways Music Affects Our Lives & Our Brains

7 Ways to Cope with Stress from Working at Home

Working from home has become the order of the day following the covid-19 pandemic. For so many people getting to work from home was advantageous because they get to have flexible work hours and spend more time with their families. However, with time, working from home has proved to be more challenging than not. A lot of people have complained that working from home has caused a lot of stress. Below are a few tips on how to cope with the stress of working from home;

1. Setting a schedule

One of the main stressors of working from home is the lack of a schedule. It means that there is no clear boundary between the times when you start and stop working. Most of the time, you end up going to sleep late and waking up late or feeling tired when you are supposed to be working. Most people think that flexible working hours are an advantage. However, they can give you the illusion that you can work at any time. Therefore, most people feel the freedom to take on distractions because they can add extra hours before bed. This ends up tampering with your sleeping hours hence your productivity. Eventually, all these turn into a lot of stress.

For this reason, setting up a schedule and following it religiously would be very helpful. Make sure your schedule incorporates all your daily activities. That is, the time you need to be working, taking breaks, taking care of your kids, eating, and going to bed.

2. Setting boundaries

Setting clear boundaries between work time and leisure time with your family and friends could go a long way in reducing the stress of working from home. Make sure that your family and friends understand the line between time to be productive and socializing. You can do so by discussing with the people who come to your house often. If you do not live alone, that is, if you have kids or roommates, you can create boundaries by creating a working space. Make sure all your housemates are aware of the fact that your workspace is out of limits during working hours. Doing this will help you avoid constant distractions and eventual stress.

3. Replicate your regular workday

One thing that most people do not know is that the body and brain thrive on routine. Human beings are programmed to adapt and do well with schedules like sleeping, eating, and working patterns. For this reason, when the routines or habits are disrupted, the brain experiences a neurological shift. A neurological change is where the body experiences some neurochemical imbalances. These neurological imbalances can result in poor cognitive performances, depression, anxiety, and stress. For this reason, if you have been following a regular workday routine, changing it suddenly may result in the issues mentioned above. Therefore, you may want to replicate the same routine when working from home.

4. Maintaining face to face interactions

Social isolation is one of the main reasons most people are experiencing a lot of stress from working from home. Sometimes solitude can be very advantageous. It allows you to focus on work. It’s a breath of fresh air, mainly if you are used to interacting with dozens of people daily, and it is also refreshing to do something new. However, human beings thrive on interaction. This means that the first few days of isolation may be easy and fun. However, after a few days or a week, you start feeling lonely. Loneliness can result in issues like depression, anxiety, lack of productivity, and stress.

Therefore, the immediate solution would be to maintain face to face interaction as much as possible. Technology has made way for people to maintain face to face interaction without any physical contact. Through facetime, zoom, and other video call technologies, you can interact with your workmates and family.


5. Change your surrounding

Another significant stressing factor that causes stress when working from home is staying in the same environment day in day out. Working away from home allows you to experience a change of environment every day. From the workplace to your home and all the places you experience during the commute, there is a constant change in the environment. The same cannot be said about working from home. Having to stay in the same environment every day and night can result in boredom, monotony, and eventual stress.

You may not be able to get out of your house, but you can always switch up your surroundings. Somedays you can set up your office inside, other days in your yard or a different room in the house. It may not seem like a significant change, but it will come in handy. You can also wear your mask and go out for a stroll. Just make sure to maintain social distancing and all the regulations provided by WHO.

6. Set time aside for self-care

Self-care is critical when it comes to coping with stress. Therefore, it would help if you set aside some time daily or weekly to take care of yourself. During this time, you can watch a movie, exercise, embark on some yoga, take a bath, drink some wine, or hang out with friends on zoom. You can also exercise your hobbies.

7. Drinking tea

Drinking tea is also an incredible way of coping with stress when working from home. Different types of tea, including loose leaf tea and herbal tea, are beneficial for reducing stress. For instance, chamomile tea is known as a calming tea. Below are some other types of tea for relieving stress;

  • Peppermint tea- this tea contains peppermint oil, which soothes stress and anxiety.
  • Kava tea- this tea targets GABA receptors responsible for the feelings of anxiety in the brain.
  • Valerian root tea- this tea aids with insomnia, which is one of the causes of stress when working from home.
  • Lemon balm tea- this tea boosts GABA in the brain hence relieving issues like depression, stress, and anxiety.
  • Green tea- this tea contains L-thiamine, an amino acid that helps reduce anxiety and stress.

Other teas that relieve stress include fennel tea, rose, ginseng, hops, and holy basil tea.

Final Word

Each tea mentioned in the section above can be acquired in loose leaf tea or tea bags from an online tea and coffee shop. However, when buying tea bags online, make sure you deal with a legit and reliable online tea and coffee shop.

5 Ways Online Shopping Can Help You Relax

Even online shooping can relax you. Read why

Did you know that online shopping can help you relax? If not, you have probably heard of the phrase, “when the going becomes difficult, the tough opt for retail therapy.” Regardless of your take on retail therapy, this is a phrase that does impact some wisdom!

TNS Global conducted a survey on behalf of Ebates.com, which showed that close to fifty percent of all Americans have, at some point, engaged in retail therapy. Many of the respondents said they did so in a bid to help boost their moods.
The results of this survey helped to echo those of a past study that got circulated in the Journal of Psychology and Marketing. It established that about sixty-two percent of online shoppers had bought something with the intent of cheering themselves up.

An additional twenty-eight percent purchased items as a way of celebrating a milestone or an achievement. While buying stuff will not help to make you happy in the long-term, research shows that online shopping can help you relax, provided you don’t overdo it.

Ways in Which Internet Shopping Can Enable You to Relax

1. It Helps You to Boost Your Confidence

You will feel good when you look good. Ultimately, feeling good not only helps to boost your self-confidence, but it also helps you to relax. A relaxed person performs better in every aspect of their lives, thanks to the confidence boost that comes with buying something new.

If this isn’t a good reason to use voucher codes when shopping online, something is amiss! It’s a factor that’s also closely tied to how dressing for success can make a person feel amazing.

Purchasing a new outfit for a first day at a new job or a date can assist in boosting your confidence. It can also help to make you as successful as you would like. So, why not get yourself a new travel outfit while you are at it?

2. Online Shopping Can Help Ease a Boring Layover

Moving onto a new thing is the best way for you to get over something. For instance, if you break up with a long-term girlfriend/boyfriend, you may want to consider buying new bedding. Alternatively, if you have just gotten fired, why not use online coupons to buy new office outfits?

Internet shopping helps you to relax when you get a chance to forget about what’s troubling you and to start moving onto something new. You will feel good and also get to relax when buying a new item, which helps you to forget about the boring and highly annoying layover.

3. It Helps to Inspire Creativity

A painter tends to feel proud whenever they come up with a true masterpiece. Similarly, an online shopper can also feel proud of all the purchase decisions they have made recently.

It could be that you got to buy something great at a significant discount. Or you could have found the ideal pair of heels to go with your favorite evening dress. Regardless of what you buy, feeling a sense of pride in your latest acquisition can enhance your mood.

Often, having a sincere appreciation of your recent purchases can go a long way towards revitalizing your senses when you need it the most.

4. It Eases Stress Allowing You a Chance to Relax

When you have access to other individuals who are willing to help you out when shopping makes the entire experience memorable, it’s one of the many reasons why retail therapy is recommended for individuals who are overly stressed.
If you have watched Clueless, do you think Cher Horowitz ever felt stressed after a day out shopping? Never. And keep in mind that she’s has made a name for herself as a shopping queen.

For many people, the world of internet shopping provides them with a much-needed form of entertainment, rejuvenation, and, most importantly, escape from daily life struggles. You can approach the shopping experience as a mini-vacation for the mind.

It’s a time for the mind to leave behind whatever is stressing you and focus on other things. Remember, no one comes back from a vacation feeling stressed or bored.

5. It’s a Chance to Connect with Others

It doesn’t matter whether you like traditional or internet shopping. When you’re shopping, you get a chance to connect with the other shoppers, more so when you start looking for reviews and recommendations on where to shop.

You need to note that social connections are an essential human need. Years ago, people used to visit the marketplace to meet other people and make long-lasting human connections. Today, you have the option to visit a glossy mall or check out various online marketplaces.
At the end of it all, this is all the same. You get to feel better just by talking to a customer care representative or an online sales assistant. What makes it even better is that you don’t have to worry about draining your life savings for you to relax from internet shopping.

Therefore, whether you are clicking away on your favorite internet shopping sites or scrolling through social media for recommendations, the truth is that internet shopping is relaxing.

Consider using Voucher Codes UAE to help you make the most out of your internet shopping experience. It’s also the fastest way to land huge discounts and deals on items you have always wanted to buy.

Four Practices that Will Help You Recognize Sources of Stress in Your Life

We may not notice stress in our lives until its effects become pronounced. These practices will alert you to the danger and its sources.

Stress kills us in so many ways

When you lead a busy life, the combination of tasks at work and around the house, social commitments, and distractions on our devices can increase your exposure to elevated levels of stress. By the time you realize that you’re dealing with chronic stress, you may already need to see a GI doctor or consult with a therapist to relax and cope with anxiety. Early recognition of stress and its possible sources, also called as stressors, in your life is a vital boost to any successful stress management plan. The following practices will help you do that.

Keep a journal

A journal is a valuable tool for productivity and continued learning. Even if you keep it simple-a bullet journal or assorted to-do lists, for instance-,the information you jot down can provide considerable insight into the everyday factors, patterns, and occasional changes that could bring stress into your life. You can take things further by exploring your thoughts and feelings in a more introspective style of writing. This will help you find clarity and deeper insights into what’s currently working for you and which things might not be turning out so well.

Become a reader of good fiction

Many people read self-help books as an aid to personal development, but the occasional dose of fiction allows you to develop reading as a skill. If you start to explore a variety of well-written works of fiction, you can better develop your powers of empathy and observation. Not only does this practice give the pleasure of stimulating your imagination and experiencing a good story, but it also helps you become more aware of what’s happening in life, improves the quality and restfulness of sleep, and actively works to lower your stress levels (even if you aren’t yet aware that you’re dealing with stress).

Engage in mindfulness practice

Similar to the benefits of reading, several mindfulness practices can offer a dual boost-increasing your awareness of possible stressors while helping to offset or balance their effects.

When we think of mindfulness, meditation is often the first thing that comes to mind. Other options include deliberately slowing down and avoiding multitasking to focus on the present; removing devices such as your phone or computer for some time each day; going out for a walk in green spaces to reconnect with nature; and moving your body regularly through a commitment to exercise, such as yoga.

Explore another perspective

Developing an increased sense of awareness doesn’t have to come entirely from your perceptions. It’s essential to explore other people’s perspectives and thereby gain feedback into what’s happening in your life, which you might never acquire on your own. Talk to the people you love and trust, who are in a position to observe you regularly; family, close friends, and longtime colleagues can offer valuable insights as to what might be changing or disrupting your life. While everyone might have a different opinion, and they can be wrong or right on various points, what matters is you maintain frequent conversations with your support network, so you can piece together a better overview of the big picture.

By practicing these techniques, you’ll become more closely attuned to what’s happening in your life each day. This will alert you to stressors and help you better manage the unwanted effects of stress before things get out of hand.

Effective Ways to Relax and Recharge from Stress

Choosing to focus on your well-being may be difficult because of the never-ending demands of today’s society. Hustle culture seems to be the norm nowadays, where people often find ways to push themselves to the limit. Aside from this, financial demands are also increasing because of the expensive prices of goods and other necessities.

Stressful lady at workplace
Stress has become a common phenomenon everywhere

As a result, people try to put in more overtime at work. Some look for other sources of income to survive. Indeed, it’s natural if you feel the need to work harder to ensure that you make enough money to finance your needs. It’s also an effective way to help you achieve your goals and improve your life. However, you should never forget the importance of taking care of yourself, especially your health.

How to Practice Self-Care

Ensuring that your physical and mental health is in the perfect state provides a lot of benefits for your mind and body. It also allows you to enjoy your life more and avoid experiencing too many negative emotions. You must pay more attention to your physical and mental health to give yourself a chance to recharge. Here are some easy ways that can help you practice self-care:

  • Fix your schedule-Revisit your daily schedule and see if there are some items that you can cross out from your to-do list. Make sure that you manage your time wisely and that your schedule won’t make you too exhausted. Include some time for quick breaks so that you don’t feel overworked throughout the day.
  • Find time to perform physical activities-Find time to exercise so that you develop more physical strength. Go for a run every morning or enroll in a yoga class. Being physically fit and active helps strengthen your immune system. As a result, you will become more productive, and you can handle your obligations without any issue.
  • Schedule a “no work” day-Have a fixed schedule where you don’t have to think about work or other things that make you feel stressed or exhausted. Visit a massage spa in Pleasant Grove or enjoy a quiet time reading books at home. Do something that will help take your mind off things that disrupts your peace of mind.
  • Spend more time with your loved ones-Have fun or spend some time with your family and friends. Socializing can help you experience fun activities. It can also give you a chance to keep in touch with your support system.
  • De-clutter at home-Find time to get rid of unnecessary stuff at home. Make sure that your home is clean and organized so that you won’t feel distracted all the time. Your home should be a place where you enjoy doing things that lift your spirits rather than add to your negative emotions.

Paying attention to your overall welfare should be your priority. Keep in mind that if you are physically or mentally unhealthy, you won’t be able to accomplish tasks effectively. You will also find it more difficult to reach your goals because your body may shut down from exhaustion. To prevent this scenario, always find time to practice self-care. Don’t hesitate to call in sick or have a quick vacation to take a break from the stress and pressure around you. Remember, it’s better to prevent yourself from burning out so that you can continue doing things you need to do. It also helps you find time to pursue your passion or do something you love from time to time.

How To Battle Social Anxiety : Some Practical Tips

This is a Guest post by Stephen Gerard

A lot of people thrive in a fast-paced environment. However, for those that don’t, escaping the feelings of social anxiety can be difficult.  We all experience different levels of anxiety, some far worse than others. What many people struggle to realize is that no matter how hard we try, many of us will encounter situations that make us feel inferior, embarrassed, self -conscious or timid, there is no getting away from it. These feelings are common among those who suffer from social anxiety which pushes them to emotional breakdowns, panic attacks and mental instability. When your body is consumed by social anxiety, it is important to discover an inner remedy that can help alleviate these negative sensations.

Though at some points you may feel as if anxiety is winning the battle, it is by all means extinguishable. Every person is different, so finding the proper outlets for your anxiety issues is purely individualized.  Here are some helpful hints for dealing with anxiety and freeing your mind of negative thoughts. Continue reading “How To Battle Social Anxiety : Some Practical Tips”