Swedish research indicates choir singing is good for the heart, slows the pulse and eases mental stress. I knew that all along but its good to have it formally recognized. An interesting aspect is that it seems to synchronize the heart beats of the singers so everyone gets the same benefits. Some interesting key phrases in their report, including
- shared emotions, intuitive co-operation, joint action, collective consciousness, sensitive ability to co-operate, help people connect and open up to each other.
What more do you want out of an interest than all of that?! And think what it does to improve the rest of your day - at work, home and play.
It's the play bit that I want to focus on. I suggest all of the above applies in full or part not only to choir singing but to almost any other form of group passionate interest you care to name - playing a team sport (for fun), playing music, art classes, indeed any activity that the members of a group freely undertake for the sheer joy of it.
Work provides that for you? I hope it does but there is a key element that work rarely offers - total control over one's participation, absolute free choice about taking part, for no other reason than sheer enjoyment, to whatever skill level that satisfies you and numerous other "state of flow" emotional benefits.
Did you guess I sing in a choir? Two actually. And as much as I love my work, I abslolutely prize my involvement in both choirs. Whatever your group leisure/recreation passion, its nice to have it confirmed its doing your heart good.