Music has an incredible means to calm the nerves. We don’t take in sounds solely through our eardrums. We absorb sound through our entire body, every inch of it. Our body is, itself, a drum. The best type of music to calm the nerves is instrumental music—that which has no lyrics. It massages the brain. The right side of the brain is known as the relaxed side of the brain (right hemisphere thought processes are associated with the relaxation effect, whereas the left side of the brain steps into gear under stress). Instrumental music massages the right side of the brain. There has been much research on the topic of music therapy. Through it all, experts agree that personal choice is paramount in the ultimate relaxation effect. Several decades ago, the Mitchum deodorant company conducted a survey to see what made people sweat. While they were at it, they also asked people to note their favorite means of relaxation. Head and shoulders above all else was listening to music. Indeed, music has the most uncanny ability to influence our emotions. In a day and age where there is a lot of noise “out there” we can take back control of our lives, if only for a while, by being our own music programmer. Take time to soothe the savage breast!
Stress Tip for the Day:
Time to make a new play list! Pull out you Ipod or walk over to your CD collection and make a line up of 10-20 new favorite songs. It might even be time to find some new music to hit that spot on your threshold of musical sensations. Consider making a music mix for late night relaxation. Consider making a (different) mix for driving in traffic relaxation. Perhaps even one for getting out of bed in the morning (rather than being startled by the dreary news). You may not have control over everything in your life, but you can be the music programmer for much of your day. Why give that power over to somebody else?
Links, Books & Movies Worth Noting:
Many people has listened to music from the websit.e Pandora.com, but it comes with many limitations and advertisements. If you like to have a website to listen to (and find new) music, consider Grooveshark (see the link below). You can tailor your own line up and avoid annoying ads. Enjoy!
Quote for the Day:
“Without music, life is a journey through a desert” — Pat Conroy
“We need music to restore the human spirit” — Leonard Slatkin, Director of the National Symphony
Photo for the Day:
While in Ireland last summer our tour group heard several nights of live music. Simply sublime! The Irish, much like the Hawaiians (both of whom were occupied by the British) keep their culture alive in their music. This member of Cooper O’Neill was playing one night in a pub in Doolin. Enjoy!
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 (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.