Amanda Drago
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Reduce Your Driving Stress by Listening to Music

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Reduce stress listening to music
Listening to music
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Being stuck in traffic on the commute to or from work can make you more stressed and potentially increase your risk of heart disease. Luckily, a recent study suggests that listening to music can help you relax while you drive.

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Details of the study

The study was published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine back in October. Researchers studied five healthy women ranging from 18 to 23 years old to see if and how music had an effect on heart stress.

Researchers made sure to select non-habitual drivers for the study since drivers with more experience would be better able to cope with stress. Study author Vitor Engrácia Valenti also explained that researchers only chose women because “previous studies provided evidence that women are more sensitive to auditory stimulation.”

In the study, the women drove on two separate days, following the same route on each occasion. They listened to no music on the first day and then listened to instrumental music on the second day. While driving, the women wore heart rate monitors, which indicated that they were more relaxed when listening to music.

Implications of the results

Stress can lead to an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, which is why it could cause problems for those with cardiovascular risks. Based on the results of the study, listening to music could help you manage your stress.

Instrumental music, in particular, is a great option as suggested by the study. Valenti’s group also previously published another study, which showed that instrumental music could have a positive effect on those taking antihypertensive medication.

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If you tend to listen to music with lyrics, this could also help you relax, but it all depends on how the lyrics affect you. As such, the next time you’re stuck in heavy traffic, try putting on instrumental music to ease your mind.