Meditation is a practiced mindset helping you to be present and in the current moment. It is a great skill to learn to help reduce stress, lower anxious thoughts and feel less overwhelmed. Meditation is also an excellent tool for connecting to your body, feeling grounded, and regaining focus. There is no "right" way to do meditation. There are hundreds of tools and techniques to help guide your meditation practice, but it's ultimately up to you and what helps you feel the calmest and maintain a consistent practice. If you connect well with music, then meditation music may be the perfect tool for you.
There is good evidence that music can help to lower heart rate, reduce blood pressure and decrease levels of hormones associated with stress. Research shows that instrumental music without lyrics and a slow tempo tends to have the greatest effect. Find out more in Effects of music interventions on stress-related outcomes: a systematic review and two meta-analyses.
Although everyone is different, a few key types of music tend to work best for meditation music. Research indicates that music without lyrics and which has a slow tempo tends to work best.
Ambient music is a type of music which focusses on the tone and atmosphere over traditional music structure and rhythm. It's formed from instrumental sounds, and does not tend to have lyrics. Its often formed from layers of sounds and tends to promote feelings of calmness in the listener.
Binaural beats are created when you hear two tones with slightly different frequency in each ear at the same time. Your brain perceives this difference in frequency as a 'binaural beat'. Some research suggests that binaural beats can be helpful in reducing anxiety and improving sleep. A 2019 systematic review of 22 studies found that there is a significant link between listening to binaural beats and reduced anxiety - Efficacy of binaural auditory beats in cognition, anxiety, and pain perception: a meta-analysis. Some research indicates that listening to a 6 Hz binaural beat induces similar activity in the brain to meditation - Brain Responses to a 6-Hz Binaural Beat: Effects on General Theta Rhythm and Frontal Midline Theta Activity.
Nature sounds can be very helpful in promoting relaxation, as research has shown. Humans have a deep connection to nature and the world around us, so it makes sense that we find calm and peace in listening to the rain or hearing waves crash along a shoreline. There is evidence that listening to natural sounds, such as the sounds help recovery from stress - Inducing physiological stress recovery with sounds of nature in a virtual reality forest - results from a pilot study.
Infrasonic bass is a form of very deep bass, which when played back through a haptic speaker on the body can induce additional feelings of relaxation. Limited research suggests infrasonic bass may be helpful in increasing sleep quality and reducing perceived pain - The effect of low-frequency sound stimulation on patients with fibromyalgia: A clinical study.
Harmonic Breathing music blends all of the above elements together, bringing the relaxation benefits of each into each piece of music.
If you're familiar with diaphragmatic breathing or deep breathing techniques, you'll know that it helps give your nervous system and brain a signal that you are safe and can relax. These exercises can also help you sleep better.
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