Singing your heart out
Research into the neuroscience of singing has shown that when we sing our neurotransmitters connect up in new and different ways. Our brain releases endorphins, making us happier, healthier and more creative.
The most recent research suggests that group singing is the most exhilarating and transformative of all singing.
This group singing triggers the communal release of serotonin and oxytocin, which relieve anxiety and stress and which are linked to feelings of trust and bonding. There is even evidence that group singing synchronises our heartbeats.
In our ancestry this means that group singers forged a bond that triumphed over an ‘every caveman for himself’ outlook. Those who sang together were strongly bonded.
Singing also connects you to the right side of your brain, the side responsible for intuition, imagination and creativity. We can get stuck in our left brain, processing and analyzing a lot of information and singing can help to balance this.
So why do so few of us participate in group singing?
Perhaps we have had our voice criticized in the past. Singing is very personal, an expression from within us and so we cannot help but take this criticism personally which can form barriers to us spontaneously expressing ourselves in the future.
One of the great things about singing is that you can receive the well-being benefits even if you aren’t a particularly good singer. One study showed that ‘Group singing can produce satisfying and therapeutic sensations even when the sound produced by the vocal instrument is of mediocre quality.’
Why not explore singing in a group this year?