The time has come to say farewell to the long and lazy days of Summer and allow the hustle and bustle of Fall to envelop us. September has arrived and we are back to business. As we slowly begin preparation for the fourth quarter and the holiday season (which will be here before we know it) I found the words of one of my colleagues quite timely. “Why don’t you do a wellness challenge with music? Music has all kinds of benefits.”
Of course, she is correct. It was not long ago that I campaigned for music to play at my last work establishment, making my case by detailing the numerous benefits music can have on our brain, our productivity, and our mood. The challenge we faced then was that one genre of music was selected to play in the background for the entire office. Often that type of music did not serve the needs or the preference of the general population. Our tastes are particular. We are each affected by certain styles of music or sounds differently (think rainfall or crashing waves). Well, I have learned my lesson and will adjust this month’s challenge accordingly.
But let’s begin by saying a few words about music and brain health. In a 2020 survey conducted by AARP, it was shown that music can have an impact on cognitive and emotional well-being. Music listeners have reduced levels of anxiety and depression, are happier and rate their ability to learn new things as excellent or very good. The logical response here is how? How can music affect us in that way? Music activates almost all of the regions of the brain keeping the brain pathways and networks strong, including those involved in well-being, learning, cognitive function, quality of life, and happiness. These brain pathways are strengthened when used, and conversely, weaken when they are not; our brains intuitively know to keep a pathway strong that is being used. (Andrew E. Budson, 2020)
Working all day or all night, dealing with clients and customers can truly take a toll on even the most positive personality. We all know that it can be difficult to maintain that good-natured attitude at all times. Studies show that listening to music can help to improve your mood. Music can help to relax, inspire, and even energize us at the end of an exhausting and stressful week. Not only that, when you tag on the use of noise-canceling earphones, music can be a powerful tool to improve focus and concentration and thereby increase one’s productivity. (The physiological benefits of music at work, n.d.)
For the month of September, we are going to incorporate music into our work life. Take some time each day, if you aren’t already, to use music as a brain and mood enhancing activity. If you already listen to music, try switching up your genre for a different result. One study showed that Classical Music was more effective for workers doing math problems, while Pop music increased the speed of data entry. Interestingly enough, Dance music appeared to aid in proofreading! Invest in a pair of headphones as music in the workplace is a matter of personal taste—lesson learned--and let’s relish in The Sounds of September. (Blakely-Gray, 2021)
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Andrew E. Budson, M. (2020, October 7). Why is Music good for the brain? Retrieved from Health.Harvard.edu: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/why-is-music-good-for-the-brain-2020100721062
Blakely-Gray, R. (2021, August 13). Music in the Workplace: Can it Help Productivity, or Is it Treble? Retrieved from www.smallbusiness.patriot software.com: https://smallbusiness.patriotsoftware.com/music-in-workplace-office-law-productivity/
The physiological benefits of music at work. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.thriveglobal.com: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/the-physiological-benefits-of-music-at-work/#:~:text=Music%20leaves%20a%20deep%20impact%20on%20the%20minds%20of%20the,and%20getting%20better%20brain%20activity.