Seventy-six percent of U.S. adults reported that they experienced at least one symptom of stress in the last month such as headaches, fatigue, nervousness, anxiety, depression, and sadness.
It’s easy to see why.
Americans are among the most stressed out people in the world. The stress we experience is 20% higher than the global average. This could be brought on by chasing “the American dream,” economic upheavals, fast-paced lifestyles, etc.
Medication isn’t the only remedy to this pervasive issue. Complementary or alternative treatments like non-invasive sound therapy can also help your body heal itself. The best thing about it is there are no unwanted side effects!
What Is Sound Therapy? How Can It Reduce Stress?
Sound therapy for stress relief uses natural sounds, music (vocals), sound waves, and vibrations from instruments around and on specific parts of the human body to heal it. Think Tibetan bowls, tuning forks, gongs, chimes, drums, Om Chanting, classical music, humming, kirtan, etc.
The principle is based on the law of vibration, which suggests that each thing in the universe possesses a unique and distinctive vibrational frequency.
Stress, anger, depression, and anxiety vibrate at a lower frequency, throwing our energy off balance and can make us more likely to fall ill. But by using sound therapy, it’s possible to restore balance and harmonize the body’s vibrations. It “massages” every single cell in your body and activates the body’s healing system, inducing a deeply restorative state in the brain.
How Sound Therapy Can Help You
Sound therapy offers several benefits. Take a look at some of them:
1. Better Focus
According to a 2017 study, binaural beats in the gamma range can affect and enhance cognition while inducing an individual processing style that modulates visual attention. Basically, it increases the focus on task-related information.
2. Boost Immune System
Psychological stress can have detrimental effects on your immune system and lower your ability to fight off diseases. Fortunately, techniques like music therapy can modulate and enhance the immune system response according to a 2021 article.
3. Elevate Confidence
A 2011 article on academically stressed adolescents found that music therapy can enhance self-esteem and help deal with daily stressors. This reinforces similar findings from a study involving 100 people that revealed that music training can increase self confidence.
4. Better Sleep
According to a 2022 pilot study, auditory stimulation with delta binaural beats can lead to greater delta activity during the night. This can improve sleep quality while decreasing the frequency of nighttime awakenings.
Individuals with insomnia can use sound therapy to distract their minds from stressors and relax, making it easier to fall asleep.
5. Feel More Optimistic About Life
A good upbeat track can make you feel more positive about life. It psychologically and physiologically arouses you, activating your brain’s pleasure and reward system for better well-being. It also releases latent energy to make you feel energized and ready to take on the day.
6. Fewer Headaches or Migraines
A 2007 research indicates that about 80% of 1,207 patients with identifiable triggers reported stress as a common trigger for acute migraine attacks.
Based on a 2021 study of 20 episodic migraine patients, music intervention helped half the participants who reported a 50% reduction in migraine attacks following the 3-month intervention period. This is backed by a 2022 systematic review and meta-analysis which showed a medium-to-large effect on stress-related outcomes.
7. Improved Attention Span
Chronic stress can affect your ability to focus. Most people’s attention spans have dropped to 8 seconds.
Again, music intervention can offer some relief. A 2020 study that involved 35 children from 6 to 9 years old showed that music has short-term benefits on attention control. It can thus be used to lengthen the attention spans of children.
8. Pain Relief
The pain we experience can be magnified by stress. However, decades-old studies have demonstrated that sound therapy can help alleviate chronic and acute pain.
For example, 2004 research showed how sound therapy can influence bodily functions. It explored the benefits of vibroacoustic therapy such as its ability to reduce symptoms, encourage relaxation, and relieve stress. How? A 2012 comparative study suggests that it works through the endorphin system.
9. Lowers Stress Levels
Sound therapy can promote relaxation by allowing you to re-align your brain and get rid of negative emotions. An article from ScienceDirect established that just three sessions of biofield tuning (a type of sound therapy) that’s delivered from some distance can significantly minimize anxiety. It can also lower our sensitivity to stress and its negative effects.
When it comes to music, listening to relaxing music has been found to encourage HPA axis activation and faster recovery of the autonomous nervous system or ANS. This makes us more resilient to stress and its effects.
How Can You Practice Sound Therapy at Home?
Here’s how you can use sound therapy in your home to relax and unwind:
Find a Quiet Location
If you don’t have a spare room or basement where you can practice sounder therapy uninterrupted, a quiet corner in your room will do just fine. This is an essential step for fully immersing yourself in the experience.
Create a Cozy Environment
Use throw pillows, blankets, curtains made of heavy materials, and dim lighting to set the mood for deep relaxation. You can even add some plants to elevate your therapeutic experience.
Wear Sound-Absorbing Clothing
This will help soften, mask, or block other sounds so you can create a more natural sound experience in your space.
Select and Use Sound Therapy Tools
And finally, decide on your tools. Noise-canceling headphones or instruments like singing bowls will help you create relaxation and tranquility.
Take Home Message
Sound therapy can improve your quality of life so be sure to incorporate it into your daily routine. If you don’t have the time to set up a quiet, cozy environment that’s conducive to the process, listen to music when you work out or are on the go.
Remember to have an open heart and mind. Be consistent and practice regularly to start enjoying sound therapy’s many natural benefits.