It’s no secret that music can stir the emotions. Music holds the power to either excite or calm the mind/body. As the expression goes, “Music soothes the savage breast.” Of all the means to relax, listening to music is thought to be one of the most common (with the advent of the Ipod, perhaps THE most common). Yet research in the field of music therapy reveals that not all music we relax to proves to be relaxing! First and foremost, the most relaxing type of music is that which is instrumental, be it jazz, classical, new age, etc. Music with lyrics draws in the analytical thoughts of the left- brain (the same thought processes involved with fight or flight) and this only keeps the stress response in gear. Of course the tempo of music is important, yet equally important is your perceptions of the music (whether you like it or not). You may think that you take in the sounds of music through your ears, but in truth you take in music through every cell in your body, via the properties of entrainment. Sound is energy made audible. Music is sound. Fill your ears with the most relaxing music today.
Stress Tip for the Day:
Pull together a new playlist of relaxing music. Try to include selections from a host of genres including classical, jazz, and ambient new age compositions. Burn a few copies of this Music Rx, one for the car, one for the bedroom when you go to sleep at night, and one for the living room stereo. Rather than watching TV this week, pick a night and simply listen to nice relaxing music. Close your eyes and drift along as if the music is a river of energy that sweeps you away. Release any judgmental thoughts and allow the music to clear your mind of stress.
Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:
Today I would like to list some of my favorite musicians whose music I use to relax by:
James Owen Mathews: Liquid Strings
Secret Garden, White Stones
Beethoven: 7th Symphony
Keola Beamer, Blue Water Dolphin
Eversound Music: One Quiet Night
David Lanz, Christophori’s Dream
Pat Metheny, If I Could
Jim Wilson, Northern Seascape
Quote for the Day:
“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to the loneliness.” Maya Angelou
“When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and the latest.” — Henry David Thoreau
Photo for the Day:
Every year, I host a potluck and Irish music house concert, usually around St. Patrick’s Day. This year’s party was one of the best, due in large part to the great music by Adam Agee, Jon Sousa and Emily Dawson pictured here (not to mention the great spread of delicious food!) Thanks to all who came to share a great meal, memories and tunes. See you next year!
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.