Last week we introduced the exciting news that Sam Roberts Band will be performing at our closing ceremony on May 12. We cranked up their new TerraForm album to get us into the mood.
Now as a writer, music has always provided me with a sort of vacuum from the world and all the extra noise. I write and edit, especially, with headphones on. Always. Music makes me feel more productive and focused, but I never knew there was science behind why this was.
So I’m going to share some science with you and maybe your boss will let you crank up the tunes and dance around the office a little bit.
1. Music Improves Intelligence and memory
The Mozart effect is a theory that is used to demonstrate how music makes children intelligent. It says that there is some research that confirms that listening to classical music, Mozart, in this case, can improve spatial-temporal reasoning performance. What is this mouthful you may ask? Well, it’s what we use to do tasks in computer science, cognitive science, and cognitive psychology. So we figure things out much better and up our performance by reaching solutions faster and more effectively.
Have a daunting data entry task? Bust out some Beethoven and get symphonising!
2. Music alleviates anxiety
Close your eyes. Imagine your favourite song playing. Breathe in. Breathe out. Did it work?
Have you ever just felt completely relaxed listening to that one great song. Research shows that people who listen to music have a low level of the stress hormone cortisol.
Whether it’s John Legend, Beethoven, or some Rammstein at full volume, music transports you to a place of comfort, stability, security, and warmth. If you’re stressing out about a tight deadline, a difficult boss, an even more difficult client, take a minute.
If you don’t have your headphones ready at hand like I always do, hum a little beat, or do a little dance with your internal song and let yourself calm down. A calm mind is a productive mind. Before you know it you’ll have found the solution to the problem that had been stressing you out.
3. Music boost your immunity
Research evidence associated music with higher counts of the cells that fight bacteria and germs.
Now this one I had NO idea of. Whether it’s a consequence of good circulation, (our next point), or less stress, or just a general feeling of well-being, our cells are feeling stronger and stronger as we listen to our favourite fight song, and they are ready to take on any bacteria trying to sneak in.
Can’t take a sick day? Listen to some music, it may just help to keep that nasty cold going around the office at bay. Take some flu medicine too, though, just in case. Your boss will thank you.
4. Dancing, a consequence of music, improves your circulation
This I knew. Or I’ve said. Science can back me up on this one. Although it never benefitted my balance, and cool factor, it always helped with circulation.
If you’re used to sitting at a desk all day, take 10 minutes every few hours, get up, and do a little jig. Your body will thank you. Now here’s the science: As you begin to dance, your heart starts to beat faster and it pumps blood all through your body much faster, making you feel refreshed, more alert, and at a lower risk of problems that can result from a bad circulatory system.
Bonus points: the blood flow also helps remove any metabolic waste from your body. Excess water and carbon dioxide will be eliminated. So dance, dance whenever you can. Tell your co-worker it will wake them up and refresh them for their next task and they can join along!
5. Music affects your mood and behaviour
It affects human behaviour because it calms people down and benefits the psyche. And we all know, a happy person is a much nicer person to be around.
A bad day can really effect your whole week. This is based on the mood you’re going into work with, and the one you leave with. You can say that you can get home and turn off your feelings, and vice versa, but really it’s much more difficult than that. Your mood can highly influence your work and those around you. A small introduction of a song that makes you happy, or brings you back to a moment of happiness may be all you need to get you through the day.
And then, wherever you can, pay the happiness forward. Happy co-workers, happy life. Wait. That’s not how it goes.
Bonus Point: Music improves your productivity
Music improves intelligence, memory, and behaviour. It alleviates anxiety and promotes immunity. Music also makes people happy and productive, hence six points instead of five. When you’re happy, healthy, stress-free, and making those around you feel good, positive and joyous around you, creative ideas and solutions come to you much easier.
When you tie all these points together you will suddenly notice your work day has gone through like a breeze and you got so much done!
Now go plug in some tunes, take a moment to yourself, and go and change the world! I recommend Sam Roberts Band new song FIEND. It’s what I’m on at the moment and I can’t stop listening. Your boss will thank you!
And don’t forget to come see us May 10-12 for some rocking tunes and some great deeds. All that time you’ve gained from being so productive will be put to excellent use!