Fashion (Canada) - - HEALTH THERAPY -

“Mu­sic is an in­ter­na­tional lan­guage that can con­nect peo­ple of all ages, cul­tures, back­grounds, gen­ders, abil­i­ties and life is­sues,” says She­lia Lee, a cer­ti­fied mu­sic ther­a­pist based in Van­cou­ver. “When words are un­avail­able, mu­sic is there as a pow­er­ful form of self-ex­pres­sion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion.” She adds that stud­ies have shown that en­gag­ing with mu­sic we en­joy can help in­crease our lev­els of oxy­tocin and dopamine (the “happy” hor­mones), re­lease en­dor­phins and de­crease cor­ti­sol (the stress hor­mone). “The more ac­tively in­volved we are with mu­sic, the more ben­e­fits we can gain from it,” she says. On that note, here are seven tips from Lee on how to use mu­sic to re­duce stress: 1. Dedicate a spe­cial time and space for mu­sic. Find a place where you can be free from dis­trac­tions—and si­lence your mo­bile de­vices for the time be­ing. 2. Pause, take some deep breaths and ask your­self “What am I aware of at the mo­ment?” 3. Choose a song or cre­ate some mu­sic to match your present state. 4. Re­flect on how the mu­sic af­fected you. 5. Set an in­ten­tion of how you want to feel or what you wish for your­self and others. 6. Choose a song or cre­ate some mu­sic (sing, lis­ten to or play it) that matches your in­ten­tion. 7. Keep what­ever you wish to re­tain from the mu­sic and let it take away what­ever you wish to re­lease.

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