Singing releases the same chemicals in your brain that exercise does. These chemicals, called endorphins are responsible for positive feelings. The more one sings, the more our brain is flooded with these chemicals, and the happier we feel! This also serves as positive reinforcement for our behavior, and it is likely why people continue to keep music in their lives!
#2. Stress relief:
Beyond the release of endorphins in your brain when singing, there are other beneficial physical effects from singing. In particular, proper breathing techniques; breath management, deep breathing are all associated with greater well being. The deep breathing required from singing, helps regulate breath, has been shown to improve circulation, and lower the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in our bodies. Less stress makes for a much happier person!
#3. Focus on the present:
The immediacy of singing, the requirements of focus, and engagement mean that a singer has to be fully in the present moment. This may seem irrelevant, but focusing on the present is one of the tenants of meditation, and in various psychological studies, meditation has been shown to greatly increase mental well being, and one’s sense of contentment. Having a regular activity that requires this prolonged focus on the present moment, is a great boon to one’s happiness.
Music is an extremely complicated field, incorporating elements of science, as well as art. It is a constantly evolving field, with many areas of nuance and interpretation. As a result, those who study music, are continually learning new aspects of the field. Life-long learning has long been shown to keep our brains active and engaged, and to help stave off depression and feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Singing in a choir means you have a built in support system. The very nature of singing in a choir, demands that you pay attention to what others are doing, that you lend your own voice and talents in support of a cause larger than yourself, and that you work to perceive the world from the view of others. This is incredibly important to our sense of happiness, because humans are social beings. The support and sense of community that a choir provides are second to none!
How else does singing make you happy? Tell us in the comments below!