Music is everywhere. We listen to it at home, in our cars, and at work. Music travels well on devices, so we never have to be without it. Music is as varied as the flowers and as accessible as the air, so it is no wonder that it has long been considered therapeutic, both physically and emotionally.
Plato believed that music was a good treatment for anxiety. Aristotle believed in its therapeutic properties. Since the dawn of time people have used sticks, rocks, body parts, and voices to make music to celebrate a successful hunt or to soothe a fussy child. Today, music continues to evolve and grow as a powerful internal communicator and mode of treatment for anxiety and depression.
Just listening to music can bring about incredible changes in your body and mind. Music can boost dopamine or distract you from discomfort. Oftentimes you will first “feel” music emotionally, then experience it cognitively, and finally physically. Whether the music is calming or invigorating to you (and it will be different for each person), music can physically:
Psychologically music has been shown to help:
Music therapy for anxiety and depression includes listening, but can also involve performing, improvising, or composing, with a group or individually. Music and movement are tremendously effective not only for elevating mood, but also for bringing about better physical health through exercise. Bringing out instruments for improvisation in a group setting can be joyous and fulfilling. Active Music Therapy, which consists of a patient communicating through singing or tapping, “offers the patient opportunities for new aesthetic, physical and relational experiences.” Composing music can be a creative outlet that is also a release of emotion that tells a story.
Music therapy for anxiety and depression can help you shift your focus from the negative to the positive. And music therapy is just one of many steps you can take in overcoming depression and anxiety. Contact us at Summit Malibu today for more information about all of our treatment programs and begin your healing journey.