Singing is like a sedative combo for spirit elevation and nerve calming. Scientifically speaking, it releases endorphins (the hormone linked to pleasure) and oxytocin (the hormone associated with the alleviation of anxiety and stress). Consistent vocal exercises and singing songs can be used to ease panic attacks, anxiety, and trauma. Add some movement to your singing and it’s an even bigger win-win as it releases tension from parts of the body where it has been built up.
Studies have shown that weekly voice sessions for middle-aged folks have become somewhat of a therapy form. Attracting people from all walks of life into a singing class is becoming as popular as yoga! People are using this moment to sing as a means to release hidden emotions and anxieties while promoting relaxation and mental healing.
I was actually moved to write this post by my weekly lessons with my student, Maria Penovi (Maria). You see, she herself is a testimony of the emotional healing powers of song. After spending time battling Lymphoma she found herself keeping her spirits high by singing. Like many people affected by cancer, Maria experienced the emotional difficulties that come with this battle. Relapsing after a bone-marrow transplant and now in remission, she speaks with gratitude the role that singing has had on her psychological intervention.
Everyone responds to certain genres differently, but wherever your preference lies, singing those tunes can actually boost your mood and relax your nervous system. Though this power of singing is continually being explored, the effect on mind, body and soul is perceptible in all who try it. For that reason, singing is in essence an important avenue to explore when wanting to heal, process grief, or simply work with emotional expression.
Singing broadens the range of therapy available to people that battle any form of stress and who might shy away from traditional intervention approaches. For some, singing a song and moving through vocal exercises is a far less threatening option.
Before running to find a singing class or community choir, experiment with this idea a bit for yourself first. Perhaps missing one counseling session for a karaoke night can be a great beginning! Or the next time you find yourself gloomy, take a moment to sing your favorite song instead of venting to your friend. Go ahead and get carried away with this!