“Music is the universal language of mankind,” said Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the most popular American poet in the 19th century. No doubt, music touches everybody’s life one way or the other, and listening to it can have a soothing effect on our bodies and minds. No wonder, it enhances the listener’s mood.
In fact, music can be an effective tool in managing anxiety in individuals receiving treatment for anxiety disorder. Several studies unequivocally echo the numerous benefits that music can have in pacifying anxiety in people.
According to a 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis of data from 72 trials by doctors from Queen Mary University of London, surgical patients who listened to music reported to be significantly less anxious than those who did not. They also appeared more satisfied postoperatively. They observed that the patients who were permitted to choose the music showed non-significant reductions in pain and analgesia use.
“Cognitive activities such as listening to music can affect perceived intensity and unpleasantness of pain, enabling patients’ sensation of pain to be reduced,” felt the authors. They said, “Another potential mechanism could be reduced autonomic nervous system activity, such as reduced pulse and respiration rate and decreased blood pressure.” This explains the potential effect of music on anxiety.
Patients receiving treatment for an anxiety disorder can immensely benefit from the use of music as a complementary therapy. There are many generalized anxiety disorders treatment center that include music therapy in their treatment plans and asses its impact on the patients.
Another 2015 study titled “Music Therapy in Generalized Anxiety Disorder,” now available online, explored the possible benefits of music in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The authors said that music therapy is a novel approach in clinical psychiatry for generalized anxiety disorder.
The study used music therapy to decrease the symptomatology of this disorder following a structured protocol and the results visibly demonstrated that music therapy was effective in reducing anxiety and depression levels in GAD patients.
Key takeaways from the research:
- Along with pharmacotherapy treatment, music therapy can reduce anxiety levels in case of a GAD.
- Along with pharmacotherapy treatment, music therapy can reduce depression levels in a GAD case.
- Music therapy can achieve a significant improvement in patients with GAD.
Well-known treatment programs like the GAD treatment Center can gain extensively from such researches, which would add a new dimension to the treatment.
A similar study by researchers at the University of Utah Pain Research Center also discovered that listening to music can be highly effective in reducing pain in high-anxiety individuals. Music, according to them, can distract people and can be effective among those who can easily become absorbed in cognitive activities. The research, which tried to evaluate the potential benefits from music in diverting psychological responses to experimental pain stimuli, unraveled that the arousal from the pain stimuli decreased reliably with the increase of music-task demand.
This shows that music has a role to play in reducing anxiety in people. It can divert the attention from a worry and work in mollifying anxiety symptoms in an individual. Extensive use of this therapy will assuage medication in anxiety treatment and also work as a long-term solution for anxiety disorder patients. Besides, it is cost effective as well.