Health Benefits of Singing
I love to sing, I always have. But did you know that singing is good for your health?
The research on this is quite amazing! Here's a list of some of the health benefits of singing.
*boosts the immune system
*releases endorphins ("feel good" brain chemicals)
*improves mood and relieves stress
*gives the lungs, abdomen, diaphragm, etc. a workout (if you sing with correct form, not just from your throat)
*improves posture and mental alertness
*can improve sleep
Wow, that's pretty impressive!
It's also possible that singing specific sounds can help certain functions in the body. I found the following information on one website that was very interesting. It said:
*Singing the short-a sound, as in "ahh," for 2-3 minutes will help banish the blues. It forces oxygen into the blood, which signals the brain to release mood-lifting endorphins.
*To boost alertness, make the long-e sound, as in "emit." It stimulates the pineal gland, which controls the body's biological clock.
*Singing the short-e sound, as in "echo" stimulates the thyroid gland, which secretes hormones that control the speed which digestion and other bodily processes occur.
*Making the long-o sound as in "ocean" stimulates the pancreas, which regulates blood sugar.
*To strengthen immunity, sing the double-o sound, as in "tool." This activates the spleen, which regulates the production of infection fighting white blood cells.
Other research recommends group singing for better health.
"All types of singing have positive psychological effects. The act of singing releases endorphins, the brain's 'feel good' chemicals. Singing in front of a crowd...naturally builds confidence, which has broad and long-lasting effects on general well-being. But of all types of singing, it's choral singing that seems to have the most dramatic effects on people's lives."
I haven't sung in a choir since high school. But I do very much enjoy the group singing at church when I'm able to go. When I was in junior high, once a month we had what we called a "Singspiration." On a Sunday night we'd get together and just sing for about an hour. Anyone could request a song from the hynmal or praise-book. It was wonderful! Those are still some of my favorite memories.
I think it's important to note that what we sing is key (pun intended). =) Sometimes I catch myself singing a song with words that are not something I need to be repeating to myself. A lot of catchy tunes have untrue or negative words. So remember to sing words that are true, encouraging, and uplifting. Most people remember words that they sing much more easily than words they read or hear. So find some music you enjoy with the life-giving words that you want to have playing in your mind, and keep on singing!
To get you started, here's one of my favorite songs. =)