So singing really is good for you!
Not that this is something that those of us who sing regularly didn’t already sort of know, because there’s nothing quite like that feeling when you’re completely immersed in a song and letting your voice resonate out from somewhere deep within you. It really is an amazing feeling and why I always encourage people who want to sing to try and connect to that hidden, emotional part of themselves so that the music comes from not just their head but from deep inside of them…a real heart sound.
But now new research carried out by proper scientist types at both Imperial College and University College London as well as the Royal College of Music have discovered that singing also has a major effect on the body’s immune system. In this new research carried out in conjunction with Tenovus Cancer Care, they tested 193 regular members of choirs and discovered that singing for an hour was associated with notable reductions in nasty stress hormones (Yes…there are indeed apparently hormones that are related to stress. Who knew?) and increases in the much healthier proteins that help our bodies fight serious illness. Apparently it’s a combination of regular singing with a group of other people that does it, helping people psychologically and emotionally as well as having significant positive biological effects on our bodies.
Now there’s obviously a whole lot more to the research which you can check out for yourself by visiting the Ecancer Medical Science website (Click Here), but when I read the press release I began to get a bit excited. Here at last was scientific proof that going to church really is good for you! Now you’re maybe thinking: hang on Andi…how did you get from singing in a choir to going to church? Easy: in church you’ll find a group of people who hang out regularly to sing! I know that’s not all we do in church, but if you want to find a place where a group of people meet together to sing…then seriously, try church.
And it gets better, because church can not only cater for those emotional, social, psychological benefits that are produced when we are in healthy relationship with other people, it also can help to meet our deep spiritual needs.
You see, singing in a choir is great, and I highly recommend that if you can find one near you that you try it out, but imagine the added positive benefits that are available when the songs that you sing lift your heart to a better place. Songs with lyrics that tell you that you are loved…and not just by another human being, but by God. Songs that tell you there there is hope to be found in the middle of the chaos of life. Songs that remind you that you matter. Songs that tell you about Jesus and His love for all of us. These are the type songs we sing in church, and songs I personally love to lead because I’ve always believed that singing together is good for us. It’s why the Apostle Paul encouraged people to “Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” (Colossians 3:16). And for those of us who do already hang out in church…sing! Don’t just stand or sit there. Join in…sing! It really is good for you.
Oh…and worship leaders…we need to pay close attention to this research too, because we have to keep on singing those songs that make it easy for people to join in with us and have lyrics that inspire and bring hope. Songs that lift our vision and call us to that higher way of life in God.
But the long and the short of it all is this: Let’s all get singing together because, according to the boffins (and they know what they’re talking about) we will all feel a whole lot better.
See you in church! :)
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