Do you enjoy singing in the shower? That mindless act could just be boosting your general wellbeing.
Belting out a song in the shower over a period of several days can make you feel happier, more alert and energised, according to a study from Harvey Water Softeners.
Those involved in the study found that a week of shower singing versus a week without it felt a difference in the impact on their overall levels of happiness.
It also had an effect on their general outlook too, with people finding life more rewarding and being more alert to what was going on around them.
Michael Padraig Acton, consultant and psychological therapist, said the results of the study made sense, as singing does have the power to boost our mood while varying temperatures of water can affect how relaxed or awake we feel.
But why is that?
‘From a psychological and scientific perspective, singing improves our mood because it really forces us to be mindful with our breathing,’ he says.
‘When we are belting out a tune, we simply have to breathe more deeply. This increases oxygen levels and sends a message to the brain that we are ready to calm down.
‘Our heart rate slows, our blood pressure decreases as our blood vessels relax and we simply feel more at peace.
‘Many people exacerbate feelings of anxiety by habitually breathing in a shallow way. Singing in any context retrains our bodies into breathing more effectively for our physical and mental wellbeing.
‘The interesting thing about singing in the shower is that we are combining the health benefits of deep breathing with hydrotherapy – “water therapy”.’
So as well as affecting the body physically through a change in breathing, singing also has the power to ground us more in the present moment, due to the focus is requires.
How to improve your singing while showering
You don’t need to be a good singer either to reap the benefits, though singing well will likely make the experience more enjoyable.
Vocal coaches Natalie Farrell and Mark De Lisser share their tips for improving your singing while showering:
- To amplify the voice, cup your hands together and sing into the cupped space of your closed hands to create a water resistant microphone.
- There is a technique called belting which is typical in musical theatre and pop singing. It occurs when you tilt your head back and chin forward to lift the larynx, so washing your hair for example could also enhance your chances to amplify the sound.
- Keep the windows closed. Steam acts as a natural steamer for the throat and nose and you need the nasal tract and pharynx (throat) to be as clear as possible for great sounds.
- Try turning down the shower so it gets a bit colder. This will naturally make the throat close and then you will be able to reach higher notes as the larynx (voice box) will move up higher in the throat.
- Stand tall. When your body is in alignment, breathing becomes easier, which improves your ability to sing. If you are hunched over, you won’t be breathing at optimum capacity for singing.
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