ABCs of Vital Aging: Music

ABCs of Vital Aging: Music

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
 

 

 

 

As a Detroiter, I’ve always leaned toward the Motown sound, along with sixties music and of course, classic rock from the seventies.  But recently, I’ve been wanting to introduce some new music to my brain.  My musical tastes are in a time warp, and I need to shake them up a little!

The old songs I listen to have a way of evoking long-forgotten memories, good times, old friends and loved ones. The song “Isn’t Life Strange,” from Blues album, Seventh Sojourn, always makes me think about my brother, who died unexpectedly in April of 2000. Other songs bring back memories of great (and not so great) times during my angst-ridden teenage years.   

Would you want to live without music? I sure wouldn’t. Imagine a movie without music in the background, developing the mood of that particular scene. Imagine seeing a bride walking down the aisle without hearing that familiar tune that defines a wedding. Not having lullabies to sing your child to sleep, nor songs that make us want to get up and dance with abandon. . . . Life would definitely be strange!

For me, there’s no denying that music is a part of vital aging – just because it brings pleasure to our lives. It makes us want to dance.  Sharing a concert experience with our friends enhances our friendships.

But there’s more to it than that.  There’s also scientific evidence that shows how music enhances our mental health. For example, listening to it can boost our mood (Not that I needed any research to realize that).

According to health experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine, music can keep our brains youthful.  Music engages the brain, lessens anxiety, improve our sleep. Listening to new music may boost our creativity. 

And believe it or not, our brains love when we hear new music!  Read why in this article, The Science behind the Awesome Feeling of Discovering New Music.

 

 

 

 

 

I felt the dopamine in my brain kicking on when, shortly after getting hooked on Alt Nation, I discovered a new song, My Typeby a group called Saint Motel. It made me want to move in a way that vaguely resembles dancing.  I have my daughter to thank for that, since if it wasn’t for her, I’d be listening to the same old, same old tunes! 

For Further Reading:

Your Brain (and Health) on Music  

The Impact of Music Therapy on Mental Health

Music Therapy for Health and Wellness

Your Brain Will Be in Better Shape If You’ve Taken Music Lessons 

©VitalAging4Women 2016-2017

Ted Talk Tuesday: Making Stress your Friend

Kelly McGonigal’s Ted Talk from 2013 is the most unique talk you’ll ever hear about stress!  We’ve all heard that stress kills.  In fact, for many years, she herself relayed that message to people, along with providing stress-coping strategies. Then she adapted her beliefs, after getting some revelations from a long-term study showing that it’s not stress that kills, but rather, how people react to stress. By changing how we face stress in our lives, we can make our lives healthier and happier.  

Check it out, and let me know what you think about Kelly’s point of view on stress and its positive aspects. 

Continue reading

5 Reasons to try Meditation

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

5 Reasons to try Meditation

  1. Meditation may help us sleep better. At least 40% of Americans don’t get enough of the quality sleep they need to function well during the day.*  Many of these insomnia sufferers are women. Our insomnia is caused by hormonal changes we face in our lives, such as pregnancy and perimenopause.  
  2. Meditation relieves stress, and can help those of us who suffer from anxiety and depression. 
  3. Meditation provides other mental health benefits:  an increase in happiness, self-acceptance and awareness, concentration, focus and more – as found in the article, The Benefits of Meditation You Never Knew, from the Art of Living website.
  4. Meditation can lower blood pressure, boost the immune system and even increase energy levels, just to name a few physical health benefits.
  5. Meditation may help strengthen our aging brain by slowing down the loss of gray matter, according to UCLA researchers.

Continue reading

How Nature Benefits our Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband and I just got back from our annual July vacation, which starts with a family reunion in Manistee, Michigan.  This year, after leaving Manistee, we drove up to the Upper Peninsula, one of the beauties of the mitten state. 

We traveled to Tahquamenon Falls State Park and rode on the Toonerville Trolley through the woods (and saw two, count ‘em, two black bears!). We enjoyed walking the trail to the lower falls, taking pleasure in the scenic beauty of the plants, trees, and of course, the rushing water tumbling over rocks and spilling into the river.  Later, as we drove back to our hotel, we noticed that the sky seemed immense; it wasn’t blocked by buildings, billboards and other clutter. Lack of traffic, police and ambulance sirens, and all the other city noises added to the pleasure of being “up north.”  Continue reading

ABCs of Vital Aging: Friendships

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

ABCs of Vital Aging: Friendships

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You’ve got to have friends,” Bette Midler sang way back in the early seventies, and she sure had it right.  Truer words were never sung.

Whenever I go out for a girl’s night out with my two best friends (we’ve had a 46-year friendship, which tells you that I’m no spring chicken), we laugh, cheer each other on, and lift each other up.  When we were young, we’d go to parties, talk about our “crushes” on boys, and what dreams we had for our lives. Now that we’re of a certain age (not old, mind you, just “perfected”), we talk about how our husbands drive us crazy, brag about our kids and bemoan the aches and pains that come with age. Continue reading

7 Ways Caregivers can Take Care of Themselves

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

7 Ways Caregivers can Take Care of Themselves

Every airplane traveler hears the same refrain whenever they take a flight. In case of an emergency, always put on your own oxygen mask before helping another passenger. It’s the same when you’re a caregiver, caring for a loved one with a debilitating condition.  To take care of others, you first need to take care of yourself. Continue reading

What the Universe Taught Me about Serenity

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite episodes from the old television program Seinfeld is the one where Mr. Costanza sits in the back seat of a car yelling “Serenity Now!” Occasionally, I’ll pop over to YouTube just to watch that scene, which always makes me laugh out loud.

That would be me in my younger days, demanding peace of mind from the universe, immediately! Alas, the universe, in its infinite wisdom, ignored me. Because it knew something I didn’t, and wasn’t going to give up that secret easily. Continue reading

Ted Talk Tuesday: Older is Happier

As I rapidly approach the sixth decade of my life, I realize I’m happier and more content than I’ve ever been in my life.  Is that to say I’m happy every day?  Nope.  I’m realistic enough not to expect that feeling every day. Sometimes, I’m a grump; sometimes I get the “blues” and feel better after a good cry. But that doesn’t change the fact that aging has helped me reach a sense of well-being and peace of mind.  This is something I never expected from growing old.  Continue reading

10 Lessons I’ve Learned from Aging

I’ve lived through 5 decades of my life and am entering my 6th on May 30th of this year.  Wow.  I can’t believe I’m turning 60. No way.  One freaking minute ago I was turning the big 5-0!  What in the heck happened?

Well, the good thing about aging is that I’m enjoying it.  And I’ve learned from it.  (Thank goodness. I’m very grateful for age kicking me in the butt and insisting that I don’t keep making the same mistakes I made as a young person).  The scary part about aging is not being old, but rather, not knowing how much time we have left on this side of the dirt! 

10 Lessons I’ve learned from my five decades on this earth: 

  • Facing negative experiences and adversity is crucial to personal growth and builds character.
  • Hanging on to the past is a sure way to get stuck in life.
  • If you don’t accept yourself, nothing you surround yourself with is enough.
  • Accepting yourself doesn’t mean you can get away with treating others like crap, then trying to justify it by saying, “Well, that’s just me.”
  • To make a dream come true, you need to take that first step, then persevere.
  • Life isn’t here to be fair to you. You are not entitled to a good life; but you can do much to make your life a good one. It’s up to you.
  • People leave you. But that doesn’t mean you should close yourself off to loving them.
  • Constant complaining gets you nowhere.  Be grateful.
  • It’s okay not to be happy every day.  It’s okay to feel your feelings!
  • Sometimes, it’s the little moments you share with others that are the most precious.

©Vital Aging for Women 2017