When I was younger I spent a lot of time singing. Out loud. I was in choirs and ensembles and enjoyed using my voice. Music and singing was a big part of my life. I would sing in church, in the car, in my bedroom and in the shower. One night (whilst I was practicing a choir piece in the shower) an unknown person ‘rocked’ our roof. It became quite the joke amongst my family that my singing had driven someone (my guess it was the teenager who lived a couple of doors away) to throw rocks on the roof.
Somehow over the years, my singing has diminished. Oh, there are still the odd occasions when I break into song and add a bit of a dance whilst I am in the kitchen. Of course this necessitates the obligatory eye roll from Miss-almost-twelve-going-on-twenty-five (a.k.a. The Tween) and the Garden Gnome, however my frequency in these little segues has decreased over time. Around Christmas time, it increases somewhat due to my love of all things Christmas – including carols. At these times, even the Tween will sometimes join in. After all, it’s all part of building the Christmas spirit.
So why blog about singing if I haven’t done it in so long?
Those who have followed my blog since the beginning would remember my post “This Morning I Danced” . I shared this post with one of my colleagues and then the other week, she came to me with the suggestion for the post I am writing now. She explained that she had been singing with her children that morning as they were getting ready for the day, taking turns to hand around the hairbrush ‘microphone’. They had had a wonderful time and felt fabulous afterward. She commented that it had really changed her outlook on the coming day.
I wondered why singing has so much impact and looked into it. Apparently singing has proved to provide emotional, mental and social benefits. When a person sings, their heart rate increases, breathing improves and so does lung capacity, mood and posture. Who would have thought? Studies have gone on to prove that whilst singing alone is great, singing with others is awesome! Not only does singing with others provide a sense of community, it increases self-confidence, empowerment, well-being and interpersonal skills. It lowers feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety due to the release of endorphins! Experts have even said that singing is just as good for mind and body as playing sport (although die-hard sports fanatics would disagree with this point, those of us with only a moderate interest in sport would enjoy this alternative). Apparently singing promotes mental and physical fitness and improves posture.
The article I read went on to say that singing has shown to reduce the impact of asthma, lung disease and respiratory ailments. For those preparing for childbirth, singing will assist in your preparations.
When people are stressed, they hold their breath and breathe irregularly. If they begin to sing, their breathing improves and the stress begins to dissipate. I guess it’s worth a try next time you are depressed or stressed to see if it helps. Surely the change in breathing and the release of endorphins has got to be a good thing. Having watched endless re-runs of Sound of Music and Mamma Mia, I notice that the really unhappy people in those shows are the ones that don’t sing, so there must be some truth to the theory don’t you think?
So what are you waiting for? Go on…
Crank up your radio, stereo or other music device, grab the nearest hairbrush or hairdryer and belt out a tune!!