Wednesday 21st October 2015
"How do you feel after a day at work?"
If you think through some of the emotions that might come up when you ask yourself this question, or the stress levels of your friends and family, a worryingly high proportion of people may be secretly (or not-so-secretly) suffering because of their jobs. Dissatisfied, over-worked, isolated, too busy to enjoy your passions, stressed or undervalued. Does any of that sound familiar?
It's not surprising that we might find our working lives challenging: we graft all day with many people we hardly know beyond their working persona, in the face of tight deadlines and a constant influx of emails and meeting requests.
The mounting pressure of 'getting things done' sometimes take precedence over doing things well and a 'throw everything at it' multi-tasking approach can leave us physically and mentally exhausted.
These factors can leave us unable to prioritise, retain high quality results or function to the best of our abilities and can begin to effect the way we feel by the end of the day, even when we've returned home. When the pressures of work leak over into our personal lives we need to do something to redress that power.
Singing at work
So does the idea of singing in the midst of the constant onslaught of your calendar schedule sound like frivolous distraction or an unwelcome addition to an ever-growing 'to-do' list? Or does the promise of a little time to enjoy music with others sound like a refreshing, positive activity?
Singing creates time
Over the past five years we've discovered that singing with others, far from wasting time, creates time. It energises, refreshes and creates new bonds, shared understandings and platforms for meaningful communication. The extraordinary experience of singing in a group brings those taking part very much into the present, away from the worries of yesterday's proposal or tomorrow's team meeting. These are just some of the many reasons around 4.5% of Europe's population - that's 37 million people - engage in group signing activities. Are you missing out by only singing in the shower?
Here's some of the logic behind making time in your day to sing with others:
- Singing brings a unity to a group rarely achieved in any other method
- Singing together creates a trust and communication that very directly relates to our immediate and extended relationships
- Singing with others fulfils a primal need to have fun, be creative and even a little silly
- When we sing in a group setting our minds begin to unwind and challenging work situations feel more manageable
- Creativity and collaboration means new ideas charge forward and people start saying 'yes' more
Perhaps this sounds too good to be true? Here's some science on the power of group singing:
Learning how to use your voice means you can speak with more confidence and volume, and the oxytocin (the hormone that builds trust and helps mothers and babies bond) released means the mind and body relax. Heart rates regulate and even begin to synchronise, bringing stress relief and long term health benefits to an entire group. Memory improves, presentation skills blossom and when we relax and become 'present' in music we might even begin to enjoy life - and work - a little more.
With all that in mind, how would you like to feel after a day at work? Would you take an hour out of your week to get all these benefits? Have you ever experienced any health or well-being benefits from singing? Share them with us below!