Stress relief going to the dogs


Did you know that your dog just might be a Bob Marley fan?

In a recent study on the effect of music on dogs’ behavior, researchers found that classical, reggae and soft rock had a calming effect on Fido and his friends.

Now I’m not too sure how stressed out your dog is, but chances are you might be a bit. Or maybe a lot.

The power of music to soothe and calm humans has been known for some time. It may be that it is the specific tempo and repetitive qualities in certain type of music that creates a positive effect. Studies show that music can slow the heart rate, lower blood pressure and maybe even decrease cortisol levels.

It’s a fascinating area of ongoing study that apparently now also includes your dog. In meantime while researchers continue to learn more, here are 5 ways you can use music in your daily routine to help manage stress.

Give it a try

If the thought of classical music raises your stress level, be open to giving it a try. While it’s important to play music you find pleasant, chances are there is room to expand your classical repertoire. If Bach is not your guy, try Handel, or Beethoven or Debussy. If you find that classical music is not really your thing, see if your dog is on to something and try a little reggae or soft rock.

Start the day

Add some music to your morning routine. Try waking up to music rather than an alarm. Take 5 minutes to sit and listen to some quiet or uplifting music before you start preparing for the day. Have music playing in the background to create a calmer atmosphere for you and your family.

Take a pause

Taking mini breaks during your day allows you to pause and give your busy mind a rest. Create a playlist of calming music and then schedule an intentional music break into your day. Simply put on your headphones, sit quietly, breathe and listen.

On your commute

Imagine what difference it might make on your daily commute if you were singing along with Bob Marley’s One Love instead of listening to talk radio or rehashing the list of things that are still on your to-do list. Whether you are driving, walking or taking the bus, use your commute time as a proactive stress reducer.

Before bed

Sometimes when we get into bed, it’s a challenge to quiet the million thoughts racing through our heads. That makes falling asleep and then having a restful sleep more difficult. Music can be a positive addition to other sleep hygiene habits that help you relax and make the transition to a good night’s sleep.

Using music as part of your daily stress reduction plan is an inexpensive, simple and ready to use tool that can easily be added into your existing routines. Your dog thinks so too.


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St. Albert Gazette

The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.