Music evokes emotion. Music is everywhere: in movies, on your phone, streamed through your computer. It can bring back memories or get you on your feet. It can motivate during a workout or make you feel anxiety when watching a horror flick. Either way, it has a profound affect on our brains, body, and being.
Benefits of Music:
There has been mental and physical healing associated with music. Aiming for a relaxed body and mind? Try slow classical music. This has been linked to a slower heart rate, lower blood pressure, and decreased levels of stress hormones. Tunes with a familiar melody with a gentle feel can induce the feelings of comfort while nature sounds are specifically linked to relaxation. Stress can hinder your ability to think by shrinking your mental capacity. Win it back with the power of music.
Ways to Incorporate More Music into Your Life:
Start the day out right
Have the alarm set with something soothing or enjoyable of your choice to replace the traditional buzzing. Try birds chirping or even your favorite radio station. Change it up and find out which sounds work best for you.
Exercise with music
Not only can you release built up tension and lactic acid, adding the music will make this more enjoyable. Try streaming Spotify; it can match the music to your running tempo and provide you with a custom run.
Sing in the shower or during the commute
Make this time about you. Clear your thoughts or even take the time to catch up on the news.
Play while cleaning the house
This is a fun one to help pass the time. Kind of like the Disney favorite “Whistle While You Work. ” I suggest getting a portable speaker so it can follow you around the house. Just sync it to the phone in your pocket.
Soothing sounds before bed
Playing music before bed helps to induce sleep. Spotify offers over 30 playlists to choose from, all under its sleep genre. I don’t suggest the playlist “Peaceful Piano” as some the songs get a bit aggressive with the pounding of keys which could keep you awake.
Use at work
Depending on the assignment, there are options for listening to music at work. Have a task that requires lots of concentration? Try something without words to prevent yourself from focusing on what’s being said. If you have a more monotonous task, comedy radio is a great option to laugh through the day.
Improve your mood
Sometimes you are stressed and need a little something to get you through. As mentioned in my first blog, Start the Path to Inner Peace, I reach for the Charlie Brown Christmas CD for memories of family gatherings and hot cocoa road trips looking for Christmas lights. Find a piece that evokes joy in you.
Pick the right music for you:
Picking the wrong music can add tension and just be irritating. Choose music for the result you are aiming to achieve. For instance, a lengthy period of rock music could allow you to get out pent up energy before you finally find a sense of calm. Also, listening to nature sounds can help transport you to a beach hammock if you’re looking to escape.
It’s best to be mindful that music can have different emotional meanings for different people. For example, I can no longer listen to “Say Something” by Christina Aguilera without tears since this song has a strong connection to a passed family member. Know that when creating playlists from online sources that the potential for songs like this can come up.
Where to find some relaxing music options:
Bring tranquility to yourself with some free options such as Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Radio. Pandora is great in the sense that you can assign each song a thumbs up or down allowing the station to learn your likes and dislikes to create a custom station for you. The downside is that there are very little options when looking for genre’s related to relaxation. Spotify is a better option for premade playlists that you can browse by “genres and moods” for playlist selections such as sleep, workout, and mood booster. Apple Radio is a good option for news including NPR, ESPN, and BBC news. If you know some great music options, please share in the comments below.