It’s January 2013 and the flu season is already in full swing, with predictions by the CDC as to this being the worst flu season in a decade. Reported cases are already up 250% from the season before and there’s still 3 months of the season left.
We all know the usual precautions of washing your hands, not touching your face, avoiding people or areas where the flu is running rampant, but you also can reduce your chances of getting the flu by listening to music. Getting enough sleep and reducing stress are also two ways to boost your immune system against the flu and music helps with all of these.
Best Types of Music
While you can listen to any music you like and see results, a mixed playlist of classical, upbeat, positive, jazz, bluegrass, and soft rock are shown to be the most effective for promoting both body health and mental wellbeing. Research suggests listening to lower levels over blaring high volumes, which tends to aggravate after extended periods.
Relaxation for Better Sleep
Use music to unwind and relax about 45 minutes before going to bed and you’ll fall asleep faster and sleep better because the body has relaxed. Listening to calming music has the effect of causing the heart rate to drop, blood pressure to fall, and muscles to relax and slows your breathing; all things that help you get to sleep.
Reducing Stress Levels
This same relaxing music works to reduce stress by replacing negative emotions with positive and optimistic ones. That being said, you need to listen to positive songs to elicit the lifting of the spirits and improve your outlook on life. Sad or negative lyrics can increase feelings of sadness and depression. Relaxing music also works by decreasing the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body, which raises stress levels and causes the body to tense. Pleasing music physically relaxes the body by helping those tense muscles to let go and stop holding tension.
Boosting the Immune System
Music works to boost your immune system because when it creates the positive and profound emotions, the body secrets immune system boosting hormones and releases more antibodies into the body to help fight diseases and illnesses such as the flu. Everything you need to be healthy and prevent the flu.
Speedier Recovery Times
And if you’re one of the unlucky ones who happen to get the flu this season, even after getting the flu shot, you can use music to help speed up your recovery. Music testing studies show many positive effects of music on the healing body and mind. It works to speed up recovery by distracting you from the symptoms so you aren’t focusing on them, which always makes them more magnified. Music helps the body relax which in turn causes a release of endorphins to help counteract the pain and slows the breathing and heartbeat for more relaxation. Another way music helps recovery is by giving the patient a sense of control over something.
Getting the flu is no one’s idea of a picnic and most people will go out of their way with ideas and remedies for preventing flu, including some ideas verging slightly on the crazy side. Music is neither crazy nor hard to do and is a proven remedy, so load up your music player or music apps with plenty of positive and relaxing music for flu-fighting help this flu season.