A psychology study has demonstrated that listening to Christian music has a positive impact on the psychology of the elderly in later life. Religious music is readily available to most people, and this means that it can be a crucial resource to promote mental well-being.
Studies have established the link between various religious practices and good mental health. Some of the religious practices that have been linked to positive mental health include attending church service, prayer, congressional support, meditation, relationship with God, and using religious coping strategies in times of difficulty.
Study on Mental Health in Later Life
A study titled “Listening to Religious Music and Mental Health in Later Life” published in the Gerontologist Journal collected data from 1,024 senior citizens from 65 years and above. The participants included in the study were aging, religious black and white Americans in good health. The aim of the study was to examine the impact of listening to Christian music on mental health.
The results indicated that listening to Christian music frequently decreased death anxiety, and increased participant’s satisfaction with life. Moreover, the study found that listening to religious music increased self-esteem and bestowed upon the participants a sense of self-control. The findings also showed that all participants, regardless of their race, black or white, or gender, men and women, or socioeconomic status, experienced the same outcomes. Put differently, religious music improved mental health for the aged across races, gender and income.
In spite of the findings mentioned above, the study had some limitations. One is that it was difficult to tell whether listening to religious music outside worship had a different effect on participants compared to listening to the music during a church service.
Implications for Holistic Medicine
Many health practitioners and academics have advocated for a holistic approach to health and tailoring medical services according to individual needs. Holistic medicine aims at catering for the individual physically, mentally, and spiritually. Hence, the findings of the study have implications on the approaches used to treat and manage diseases. For example, an increasing number of studies have shown that relaxation techniques and meditation applied after counselling play a role in ensuring good health.
Religious music has a soothing effect, and this improves psychological well-being. This means that listening to gospel music acts as a form of self-therapy or self-comfort technique. The findings of the study emphasise that religion is a critical social-emotional resource that improves the psychology of older adults. Listening to religious music is important among adults because they may experience challenges while taking part in traditional religious practices, for example, attending a church service.