By Robyn Grant
One part of health that is known all too well by most people is how stress affects our mental and emotional health. But it also affects our physical health. Studies in recent years have shown that stress is a top contributor to the disease state, and likewise, the reduction or healthy management of stress needs to be a top priority when looking at resolving a chronic health condition or equally as importantly to reduce health risk factors long term. Creating healthy, enjoyable habits that reduce stress is a great way to be in charge of it, rather than it being in control. Music is a safe, natural way to reduce stress and this month there is quite a lot of great music to relax into in Nakusp.
Stressors happen day in and day out, from minor happenings like losing a sock or being late for work, to major stressors like a job change, financial problems or divorce. If being in stress becomes a way of life, it can affect sleep and digestion, emotional tolerance and daily coping ability. Sustained stress has been linked to cancer and heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions and more. However, the distinction to make is that research shows that the stressor is not the actual stress. We experience the stress by the reaction we have to the stressor, which is why some people fare better than others in the presence of the same stressor. When experiencing more stress than is healthy, one solution is to create stress-reducing habits. Some may be more helpful than others. For example, recreational drugs, cigarettes and alcohol may work short term to feel better, but in the long term can lead to life damaging addictions. One healthy stress reducing habit that suits practically everyone in it’s array of tastes and styles, is music. It’s been shown to be highly effective in influencing the mind and emotions. In short, listening to enjoyable music feels good, and those good feelings, especially when experienced regularly, actually contribute to stronger physical constitution and more balanced mental and emotional health.
There is a growing field in health care called Music Therapy, which helps cancer patients, people with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), is used for pain management, can alleviate depression and eases muscle tension. Do a little self-directed music therapy this month when the winter may feel endless, by tuning into Nakusp Community Radio at 107.1 for Blues, Oldies, Classic Rock, Top 40, 80’s, Country and more. Or, get it live! Live music brings a social ambiance to share with others, which for many people also helps reduce stress. Step out in March to enjoy an evening of acoustic instrumental guitar with Caelen Starblanket LaRocque at Kingfisher, Halcyon Hot Springs on Saturdays and Thursday evenings at Chumley’s downtown. The Bonnington is featuring two live musical events in March, Mosaic 1920’s ‘The Jazz Age’ and a musical show called the Maritime Marionettes. These events and more are posted with the Chamber of Commerce or online at www.nakusparrowlakes.com
So, warm up to some tunes to get through this cold snap and whatever stressors may be playing out. Find out first hand if musical enjoyment can be a healthy habit that works to increase inner peace and wellbeing. The radio is free, and going out to listen live can have a reasonable cost for a lot of pleasure.
Robyn Grant is a lifestyle health coach in Nakusp. She works cooperatively with individuals, with the support of their health care providers, to get the wellbeing needed to increase quality of life. Contact Robyn at 250-265-9948 or email email@example.com, about upcoming classes, or with any questions.