Music Inspires, Motivates and Enhances Performance
Music is, no doubt, a huge part of DEFINE and interestingly enough, there is a lot of research to support the natural motivational power of a good upbeat song to not only enhance your workout, but your mood as well.
We all know that really good feeling that flows through our veins when a good song plays; it’s physical. Whether it’s a song we have a strong emotional association with or one that makes us want to move, it’s undeniable how the body just automatically reacts.
I personally can come alive in seconds just by tuning to my favorite Spotify radio or listening to a recent compilation of DEFINE’s latest and greatest playlist. In fact, I notice the changes emotionally, physically and mentally… as if the beats and lyrics actually seep inside my blood vessels and pump energy instantaneously throughout my body. I love it!
In fact, the affect a good beat has on the brain and body is actually physical. Dopamine, the body’s ‘feel good’ hormone is released causing a pleasurable experience, instantly lifting our mood. No wonder Jimi Hendrix stated, “Music is a safe kind of high,” it literally has a similar affect biochemically.
Scientists have also located exactly where in the brain music has an impact and it just so happens to be in the sympathetic nervous system— the place where the body takes action. The frequency, volume, beats-per-minute (bpm), and musical patterns all prime the muscles, increase heart rate and trigger alerting responses to engage the body in movement. What’s fascinating is this affect actually synchronizes brainwaves in ways that may be particularly helpful in coupling what you hear with how you move, which in turn helps the body be more efficient by matching movement with the beat.
This effect not only helps us move, it also motivates us mentally. Just by focusing on your favorite song or one that really speaks to you lyrically, you can combat de-motivating thoughts or feelings that are associated with fatigue and boredom. To increase positive feelings about the intensity of your exercise all you have to do is tune in to the music, create meaning with the lyrics and your brain will forget that it is tired.
Even more of music’s power on the body has to do with its ability to promote emotional reactions and enhanced mood. Our affective experience of music is visceral; it’s impactful and incredibly empowering. In fact, according to Feurgeson’s research, published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, people can successfully improve their moods and boost their overall happiness in just two weeks by listening to upbeat music.
So the next time you’re needing a pick-me-up, lacking motivation to get through an overwhelming task, dealing with difficult emotions or needing a boost during your workout, utilize a strategic music choice to feel empowered, regain inspiration and obtain the results you’re desiring.
What songs inspire greatness in you? What keeps you motivated even when you’re fatigued or overwhelmed? What beats help you find your groove even in the midst of a difficult part of class or in life? Leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you!
Jessica Pass is a former DEFINE instructor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychotherapist and Counselor. She specializes in young girls and women who are on their journey of self-love and acceptance trough individual therapy, groups and experiential retreats.
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