From the drum circles of ancient cultures to the popularity of music streaming services, there is little doubt that sound has had a profound effect on human beings. In fact, musical activities have been present in every known culture on earth, extending back 250,000 years!
Throughout history, philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists, and neuroscientists have studied the effects of music on human beings. Music has been proven to stimulate learning, increase memory, facilitate and sustain attention, as well as stimulate emotions. According to a 2013 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology, people who listened to upbeat music improved their moods and boosted their happiness in just two weeks!
Music is so powerful that it has been proven to help treat advanced dementia and Alzheimer’s patients when other treatments fail. According to neurologist, Oliver Sacks,“Music evokes emotion, and emotion can bring with it memory… it brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can.” Musical aptitude and musical appreciation are two of the last remaining abilities in patients with Alzheimer’s and music can engage patients, shift their mood, and allow for emotional and physical closeness with caregivers that would otherwise be impossible.
And music doesn’t only affect humans. Other species relate positively to sound as well. In 1962, Indian researcher Dr. T. C. Singh conducted studies on the effects of sound on plant growth. He played Indian music near balsam plants and found that they grew 20% taller and carried 72% more biomass. Additionally, he had people perform a traditional Indian barefoot dance known as Bharata-Natyam around marigold flowers and found that they blossomed 2 weeks earlier than normal.
I, Susan, have found that I am profoundly influenced by music. It greatly affects my mood and how I show up in the world. When I listen to music I find that whatever I am doing is enhanced. My writing is better and my golf game even improves!
We believe so strongly in the power of music that CrisMarie and I have started incorporating dance breaks into our workday. When we find things are getting tense or we are driving hard toward a goal, we stop, play a song, and dance! While it can be difficult to stop what we are doing, we have found that we return to our work rejuvenated and joyful.
What about you? Do you pay attention to the sounds around you? Do you listen to music throughout your day? How does sound affect you?
This week’s challenge is to focus on sound.
Notice the sounds around you at home, at work, or out in nature? What do you like? What don’t you like?
Try to incorporate a dance break into your day. Did you notice any sensations in your body while you were dancing? What was your experience when you returned to work?
Pick a genre of music you don’t like. Maybe it’s rock music or jazz. Pick something that you typically don’t enjoy and listen to one song. How did your body feel? Did you notice anything different?
For many of us, silence is the most difficult sound in today’s noisy world. Try sitting in silence for 10 minutes. What was it like? How did you feel afterwards?
Let us know how it went! Join our Women with Mojo group on Facebook and share your experience or favorite playlist with the group. Or you can go to Instagram and show off some of those sweet dance moves.
CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke
Coaches, Business Consultants, Speakers and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict
CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, couples in business, and professional women.
They help turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on their business strategy so they create great results.
Check out their website: www.thriveinc.com. Connect with CrisMarie and Susan on LinkedIn. Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! Find your copy of The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team's Competitive Advantage here.