I am an avid music lover and have been since as far back as I can remember. Listening to music allows my imagination to wander and helps me to better articulate or identify my feelings. It seems to relieve whatever stresses are occurring in my life. Whenever I feel "stuck" I'll listen to a favorite group or song. In fact, I've been known to listen to the same CD repeatedly over months at a time.

What I have discovered is music has been proven to alleviate stress. It soothes and calms the nervous system. When under stress, our body produce more adrenalin to prepare ourselves for ?fight?. This, in turn, increases our heart rate and blood pressure. If exposed to stress over extended periods of time, as in a long divorce process, death of a loved one or undesirable work conditions, the heart rate begins to decrease and the blood pressure increases!!

When we are exposed to stress over longer periods of time, it actually alters our biochemistry and impedes our immune system. Our immune system is on over drive and unable to keep up. High levels of stress affects the way our body metabolizes food, utilizes sugar, and actually changes the functioning of the brain which in turn affects how we think about ourselves and others.

Listening to music and making it part of our lives can drastically improve the quality of our lives. Music can do this because if we are able to relax and balance our own energy, we are better able to deal with the stresses in our lives. Stress in our lives is ever present. It is more of how we handle stress that will determine the quality of our lives and our health.

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