Some recent research is pointing to the real fact that mindful singing and even joining a choir can be very good for your overall mental health. In recent years, it has become very clear that there are both mental and physical benefits that one can gain from mindful singing and singing in a choir. No one truly knows why voices joining together in song can be so powerful. There are a few reasons that this might be true.
- The connection of belonging to a community that is like-minded
- The sense there is a purpose that’s shared
- The possible thrill of being allowed creative expression
All of these things may truly play roles, research has shown that mindful singing and singing in a choir does help to boost mindfulness if a person practices it.
The Choir Effect
Recent research supports that there really is an existence of a kind of “choir effect,”. A study done by Charlotte Wilson and Julie Lynch, both psychologists from Dublin,s Trinity College. They published their research in a journal called “Psychology of Music.”
There were 83 people involved. (65 women and 18 men) all of whom were members of choirs in Ireland. Before and after each of their rehearsals these choir members were asked to fill out two different questionnaires that were created to measure each of their states of mindfulness.
These questions were examined to see what degree the statements in the questionnaires actually applied to the singers by using a 1 to 10 scale. Some of the statements they asked to relate to were things such as:
- I am aware of my personal feelings and not get lost in them.
- I find it easy to concentrate on all that I’m doing.
- I find myself daydreaming or distracted.
Listening to Choir Music
The research then gave the singers the same questionnaires later in the week before and after these same people listened to thirty minutes of choir music. This then let the researchers to see whether the effects of this was stimulated by the singing or to just hearing the music.
What they discovered was that listening to the music did increase the singers levels of mindfulness. However, when the singers actually did mindful singing the levels were even higher when they actually sang the music. So, this shows that listening to the music helps, but singing is far more effective.
Makes Sense That Singing Helps
It actually makes a lot of sense that mindful singing is more effective for mindfulness because singing does require a lot of concentration that is more focused than just listening to the music. Singing requires a lot of attention to details like:
- Watching the choir director
- Listening to the voices around you
- Concentrating on harmony
- Reading music
- Remembering the words of the song
The research offers evidence that there is positive effects coming from mindfulness and by mindful singing and singing in a choir enhances all the positive effects that come from mindfulness. It also is proof that incorporating mindful singing in your normal routine can be uplifting and encourages social activity.
Choir Singing Should Be Recognized for Its Benefits
The research suggests that choir singing should be recognized and promoted for the benefits one can receive with regards to better mental health. Choirs can be an incredible way of maintaining emotional and social well-being and it should be recognized for that.
Reasons Everyone Should Try Mindful Singing
Mindful singing can be done by anyone even if they’re not in a choir. Many highly suggest it because it helps to synchronize your body, mind, speech and breath. It’s something that allows you to be totally involved in the moment. That’s what mindfulness is all about.
Below, you’ll find four very good reasons why you should consider trying mindful singing.
Sometimes We all Need to Break Rules
By mindful singing, you give yourself to break the rules a tiny bit. When you sing, you are letting yourself vocalize. When you vocalize through music you are allowing yourself to explore the different sensations of being present in the moment without any judgment or any kind of interpretation.
Just a little bit of a great song can change your experience of being in the present. This is because you’re no longer just here, but you’re right here in the moment, singing. The joy that comes with singing is a huge game changer.
Singing Can be a Huge Gesture of Your Own Self-Compassion
When we are involved in mindful singing it’s actually like we are massaging our bodies from the inside out. This is what is considered to be self-compassion. When you sit down and sing, you can actually feel the act of singing in your chest. When you sing, you feel different parts of your body actually vibrate and it’s actually a very nice feeling.
Singing can also help to relax your muscles. When you take in a deep breath, then you sing on your exhale, you will actually experience the relaxation of your entire body taking place.
Doesn’t Have to Be a Happy Song
Being present in the moment means that you are feeling whatever it is in a total way. You can do this by expressing yourself through mindful singing. This means, if you happen to be sad, it’s alright to sing a song that’s sad. If you happen to be happy, then sing a song that’s happy. You don’t even have to know all of the song, just some of it. Just a little bit of any song that you like will change the experience of being in the present.
Singing Often Encourages More Meditation
Another wonderful thing about singing, especially from the brains point of view is that music and singing will help to stimulate the what’s known as the pleasure center in the brain. When you link mindfulness to pleasure through singing, the instinctual part of your brain will then be programmed to do it more often. This then becomes a habit and can actually lead to the desire to want to meditate more often.