How to live longer: A popular skill can improve immune function and feeling of wellbeing

Enya discusses singing in different languages in 2016

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Postdoctoral researcher, Jacques Launay – based at the prestigious University of Oxford – highlighted how one popular skill could extend longevity. Choir singing is said to be “beneficial in a number of different ways”. For instance, singing has long been believed to create a strong sense of well-being.

“Music making exercises the brain as well as the body,” noted Launay.

Singing has been said to be particularly beneficial for improving breathing, posture, and muscle tension.

Furthermore, the popular skill has also been shown to be an effective pain relief.

This has been attributed to the release of β-endorphin – a natural painkiller; the same kind released after intense exercise.

READ MORE: The habit that may increase your chances of longevity by 50% – it’s not exercise or diet

“There’s also some evidence to suggest that music can play a role in sustaining a healthy immune system,” added Launay.

Singing is thought to reduce the stress hormone cortisol and boost the immunoglobulin A antibody.

Learning new songs to sing also helps to stimulate cognition, aiding the memory cells.

“It has been shown that singing can help those suffering from dementia, too,” added Launay.

Singing – whether done very well or badly – has been shown to improve a person’s sense of happiness and wellbeing.

“Research has found, for example, that people feel more positive after actively singing than they do after passively listening to music or after chatting about positive life events,” said Launay.

“Improved mood probably in part comes directly from the release of positive neurochemicals such as β-endorphin, dopamine and serotonin,” she explained.

Furthermore, research in the past few years have linked optimism with longevity.

Choir singing, in particular, has shown to quickly create bonds between people.

Launay pointed out the significance of social bonds and longevity.

“Increasing evidence suggests that our social connections can play a vital role in maintaining our health,” she said.

“A good social network, for example, can have more health benefits than giving up smoking.”

City Academy – a performing arts academy – provides choir practise.

The organisation listed five benefits of choir singing, which are:

  1. Boost social life
  2. An emotional lift
  3. Increase life expectancy
  4. Improved creativity
  5. Build confidence.

Other ways to positively influence longevity include physical exercise and a healthy diet.

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