Songs From the Heart: How Singing Can Brighten Your Day and Change Your Life
By Kim Loftis
Throughout my life, I have often performed songs at many social events, including weddings, graduations and various social gatherings. I fondly recall the complements of the attendees in regard to my singing abilities. More often than not, these complements have been followed by such phrases as, "I can't carry a tune in a bucket," or, "I'd break glass if I tried to sing," etc. I am somewhat saddened to hear such comments, as singing is not only a fun and exhilarating pastime, but the health benefits on all levels (spiritually, mentally and physically) are staggering.
Singing, whether one can carry a tune in a bucket not withstanding, is an expression of the singer's soul. When we sing, we free our spirit to truly express itself at the deepest possible level. Singing is an expression of our own unique essence. Songs convey emotions that normal speech simply cannot. Why else would we have musical themes for high school proms, struggle to find the perfect wedding song, or recall so vividly the song we first danced to with our spouse? Songs are like treasure chests in which so many memories and milestones of our lives are safely and lovingly nestled. Among other benefits, singing can:
- Reduce stress. Have you ever noticed how much happier you feel while humming when you wield the broom in your kitchen, or belting out a favorite Broadway standard in the car or in the shower? Try the simple act of singing a favorite song or humming a beloved melody the next time you encounter a stressful situation, and notice the positive results upon your stress level.
- Release anger. Why do you suppose angst ridden rock bands are so popular? One reason is due to the simple fact that they channel all our bottled-up anger and frustration into tangible, memorable songs, which we can purchase on CD or download to our computers. When we join in with the raucous chorus of such a song, we allow ourselves to get angry - to truly feel and then release those emotions - if only for that four or five minute interlude while the song plays. But the point is that we're allowing ourselves, if only briefly, to deal with our anger in some way that can begin to facilitate our healing process.
- Help us better communicate with others. Singing is a surefire way to express ourselves when nothing else can. After all, why else would those late-evening love song radio shows be so popular? We dedicate songs to loved ones because music, and singing, expresses our emotions in ways that words alone simply cannot. As the late singer and songwriter Jim Croce once sang, "I'll Have to Say I Love You In a Song."
- Soothe our souls. We sing to our children to help them drift into Dreamland each night. Why not also use that same process for ourselves? The act of softly singing can decrease our heart rate, lower our blood pressure and put us into a more peaceful frame of mind.
- Make us happy! The act of singing can lighten a heavy mood, put a smile on our faces and make us far more at ease. Have you ever noticed that, when your day is going badly and a favorite song comes on the radio, you automatically feel a little better?
- Transform us in some profound way. Some people claim that hearing a particular song changed their lives. People have often told stories of how, on the verge of suicide, a certain song has helped them to completely reevaluate their lives. Particular songs can cause us to fall in love, change locations, or grow spiritually, as well.
- Bring us closer to God. Singing a favorite hymn, or performing a well-loved chant, can bring about a reverent and contemplative atmosphere in which to engage in communion with God / Goddess / Spirit.
A song performed most notably by the late Cass Elliot, encourages, "Make your own kind of music, sing your own special song." I fervently believe that each of us is a unique being, beloved by our Creator, each with our own special purpose and each with a wonderful song in our hearts. The act of singing allows us the wonderful opportunity to free our hearts to soar. It allows the windows onto our soul to open wide, showing us the radiance of our own spirit. Today, why not sing your own special song, and watch all the joys and benefits of singing have their effect in your life?
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Kim Loftis is a spiritual healing practitioner, and life and spiritual coach, providing compassionate and personalized services to her clients. Her own passion and enthusiasm for life help her in assisting her clients to empower themselves and their own lives.