Singing for Wellbeing
Stories from around the world have always been told through song and dance. Singing predates the development of spoken language. There is no human culture, no matter how remote or isolated, that does not sing. Singing is ancient, universal and vital. Humans have come together to sing to celebrate and create rituals that bonded the community together. So why sing?
Over time, singing changes your brain, making you more relaxed and healthy. Researchers have learned that singing is like a tranquilizer and energy booster all in one. They believe the changes come from endorphins, a hormone released by singing and feelings of pleasure. However, you also release oxytocin and dopamine, hormones that eliminates stress and anxiety and boosts our mood. Oxytocin builds your feelings of trust and bonding, which might explain why singing lessens feelings of depression and loneliness and builds close bonds with those we sign with. All this while boosting boosts our immune system. Watch the video here to see all the ways singing is good for us.
Whether you’re in a choir or simply enjoy singing karaoke with your friends, one of the unexpected health benefits of singing is that it can improve your social life. The bonds you form singing with others can be profound, since there’s a level of intimacy naturally involved. When you sing, you take some intimate part of you and share it with a roomful of people. Group singing can nurture our sense of belonging, connection and trust. There is some research to show that choral singers reported significantly higher psychological wellbeing than solo singers, so why not join or set up your own singing group, if you enjoy singing and want to enjoy the group benefits.
According to research singing boosts our immune system and can be an excellent form of exercise. Your lungs will get a workout as you employ proper singing techniques and vocal projections. Other related health benefits of singing include a stronger diaphragm and stimulated overall circulation. Since you pull in a greater amount of oxygen while singing than when doing many other types of exercise, some even believe that singing can increase your aerobic capacity and stamina. Improved blood circulation and an oxygenated blood stream allow more oxygen to reach the brain. This improves mental alertness, concentration, and memory.
So if you enjoy singing, why not savour the experience and do more of it. Apart from the immediate sense of pleasure it brings you, singing can simply take your mind off the day’s troubles to boost your mood and release tension. It can make you feel happy and uplifted, and bring healthful benefits. You don't have to be good at it, to enjoy it or gain benefit from it.