Many people are annoyed by someone who moans and groans...for a variety of reasons, some of which may be that these irksome sounds are a reminder that a person is in some type of pain, or perhaps the moaning is frightening, triggering an association to some scary character, a monster in a movie. Some may even recall a disappointed or frustrated parent or teacher moaning at our undesirable behavior or attitude.

If you also feel this way about moaning and groaning, here is some surprising news: engaging in this vocal exercise can increase emotional and physical well-being! It may sound kooky, but generating growling, groaning and moaning noises can stimulate the brain to change your biochemistry and lighten your mood, reduce pain, enhance your concentration and generally increase well being.

Mind-body practitioners have known for a long time that creating certain vocal sounds trigger a positive response in people who are suffering from emotional or physical pain, but no matter what your life experience, you can use moans and groans to feel even better!

How it works:

When we engage out loud in a moan or a groan, a low-throated vocal expression, we send a vibration deep within the head, where both the pineal and the pituitary glands are located. This vibration stimulates these glands, along with surrounding areas of the brain, including the hypothalamus region, which results in the release of endorphins, those feel-good neuropeptides which quickly make us feel better. Seratonin, which provides what is commonly described as a “natural high”, is one of the hormonal secretions activated in this way. People who suffer from depression and low serotonin levels can find this exercise particularly beneficial. These two glands also positively influence the endocrine system and can even help slow down the aging process.

In addition, this vibration stimulates the neo cortex of the brain, causing neurons in the cerebrum of the brain to fire off, creating new neural pathways to enhance mental potential, increasing cognitive, creative and intuitive abilities. If you suffer from limited focusing abilities, for example, this exercise can help you pay better attention.

Try it, you'll like it!

So, go ahead, put your ghost on and groan and moan to banish depressing and unwanted thoughts and feelings away and enhance your brain function! If you are self-conscious, do this while you are in the shower or out for a walk...

Ready? Begin by taking a deep, full breath and as you exhale slowly, engage your larynx to generate a throaty, vibrating sound. Notice how good that feels, as you imagine that you are moaning away all of your stress and tension.

If you have a particular problem you are struggling with, groan it out. You can elevate the pitch of the moan, vary it, or just keep it rhythmical and regular...there are no wrong ways or right ways; whatever way feels right to you is right for you.

Continue moaning and groaning for several minutes, taking deep, lung-filling breaths of air and letting the exhale of your breath direct the negative energy away. You might even notice your body loosening and relaxing as you do this, responding to the release of tense thoughts and feelings. What a great gift to give yourself!

You can moan or groan whenever you wish to: in the privacy of your car or home, in the bathroom at work (yes, it may raise some eyebrows but, who cares?!) You’re worth taking the time to feel better, even if it means getting in touch with your Inner Monster.  Happy moaning!