I’m a little sad to say that, as the month draws to a close and my experiment wraps up, my One Month Tune-Up did not have the de-stressing effect that I was hoping it would.
At least–not exactly.
I attribute the lack of overall efficacy partly to the fact that I was sick for two weeks and didn’t have a voice and partly to the fact that the amount of stress that I have allowed into my life really needed to be addressed by more than showtunes.*
That being said, singing every day (or mostly every day) was hugely therapeutic in the short term. Here are a few things that I noticed:
- Leaving a stressful situation and immediately blasting Sara or Gavin or John or any of the singer-songwriter-y artists on my iPhone acted like ibuprofen after an ankle sprain: it’s not going to cure anything, but it sure takes the inflammation down and makes things more bearable.
- I’ve been able to deal with emotions more effectively since I’ve started singing again. When I feel overwhelmed, I can put on a song that will let me sing my feelings, and then, when the song is over, I’m done with the emotion. In other words, I’ve been using music to facilitate catharsis.
- I’ve also had to confront a lot of emotions associated with certain songs that I haven’t listened to or sung in years. I’ve noticed that songs seem to retain vestiges of significant situations, and hearing them, even years later, can dredge up some powerful memories. It was really neat to have the opportunity to confront those memories again, and to feel what it felt like to make the past visceral again.
So, would I recommend singing every day as a long term panacea for stress? Probably not. But I would look at singing as one might look at meditation: it’s a practice that definitely has value for shifting your mindset and learning to work through emotions that can lead to stress.
You can check out my blogging partner Jennifer’s post over at The Health Sessions to read her conclusions on this month of stress reduction through song. (I’ll update as soon as she’s posted!)
Would you try singing as a solution for stress?
+And if any of you readers out there get that reference, I will love you forever.