May 30, 2024

Music – A double edged Sword

Even the most powerful medicine, when consumed in excessive quantities, can turn into a poison.

Do you have a deep love for music and find yourself constantly listening to it? Do you feel a sense of emptiness or a strong pull to return to music when you’re not actively listening? These experiences may resemble signs of addiction, but can we truly become addicted to music?

It’s widely known that calming music can enhance our focus, and many YouTube videos incorporate background music to captivate their audience. In movies, the choice of music can effectively convey the tone and emotion of a scene. Moreover, some studies suggest that music is utilized in therapeutic settings. Is there truth to this claim? Let’s delve into the research.

Music for physical activities 

If you have gone to gym or even partaken in any high performance physical activities by listening to fast beat music we feel like going an extra mile, or performing better. I have personally noticed fast beats music makes me do some extra reps in the gym and keep my spirit high. 

It is known scientifically that our cardiovascular autonomic function syncs with the different music rhythms and modulates the cardiovascular system accordingly, that means if slow music is played the heartbeat and blood pressure decreases and vice versa for the fast beat music.

A study conducted by the department of psychology has proved the same. Also many theorists stated that music has a powerful effect on exercise participation and adherence. 

Out of many reasons being it reduces discomfort, and evokes positive feel good hormones. It also distracts us from feeling fatigue, pain and boredom. 

Music as Therapy

Music is used as therapy and used in many clinical practices. It is an evidence based practice in health communities used to accomplish goals such as reducing stress, improving mood etc. 

Associating with music in any form like listening, composing, playing or singing is beneficial for improvement of overall health. Benefits like:

  • Improving memory
  • Lowering blood pressure 
  • Pain management
  • Reduce muscle tension 
  • Treat depression, stress and anxiety etc

Music therapists treat people with trauma or stress, mental disorders and autism etc.,

Music as addiction

Music has a profound impact on our brains, triggering the release of feel-good hormones and activating our reward system. This connection between music and our brain’s reward system explains why we find certain songs or genres so enjoyable, often listening to them repeatedly without getting bored. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and motivation, plays a significant role in this process.

A study using Positive Emission Tomography (PET) scans observed participants and found a noticeable increase in dopamine levels when they were listening to their favorite music or anticipating their preferred beats and lyrics. This dopamine spike reinforces the pleasure we experience from music and creates a cycle of craving more of it. Over time, individuals can develop a strong attachment to music and may feel a sense of emptiness or withdrawal when they are deprived of it.

Interestingly, there is emerging evidence suggesting that individuals with a deep passion for music may be more susceptible to other forms of addiction, such as sex, drugs, or food. This indicates a potential overlap in the brain’s reward circuitry and the way music and other addictive stimuli can impact our behavior.

In conclusion, we can say that music can act as both medicine and poison and one who uses it should be careful not to listen in excess.

 

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