Saturday, October 25, 2008

Using Music to Change Your Mood

Music Can Affect Your Mood

It's generally known that listening to music when feeling down or disappointed can provide relief. What may not be commonly known is that music can also reduce stress, make depression more bearable and help you relax. There is even an expanding field of therapy called music therapy which uses music for healing. The big problem is that some people misuse the effect of music by listening to consecutive and random music and so result in making themselves feel worse!!

What Are the Benefits of Music?

Music has lots of benefits, a few of which will be explained in the following:

  • Reducing stress: Music can relax your muscles reduce your breathing rate, both of which are directly related to stress and so contribute effectively to its reduction.
  • Makes you happy: Music can stimulate your body to produce serotonin (the happiness hormone) and so elevate your mood.
  • Alter your brain waves: Music can alter your brain wave pattern and so elevate your mood even after you stop listening to it.
  • Motivates you: Something I am sure you have experienced before is that listening to motivating music can make you become more motivated yourself.

How People Misuse Music

All the previously mentioned benefits of music can only happen if the listener enjoys the music he is listening to. If the listener dislikes the music or finds it boring, it will have a negative effect instead of a positive one.

Now lets look at what most of us do when it comes to listening to music. We usually just listen to a pre-prepared playlist and allow a program like winamp to randomly select what we are going to listen to first. This is where the problem lies. What if you like the first song but are bored of the second? What if the third was a motivating song and the fourth was a slow song? What do you think the result will be??

What you'll have is an emotional mess!! The first song will lift your mood a little, the second will make you a little bored, the third will motivate you and then the fourth will put you down. In the end you'll end up feeling worse than before.

I strongly recommend dividing your playlist into different small lists. For example, a list for relaxation, a list for motivation and so on. Another very important thing is to get rid of all of the old music that you are bored of. After all, it doesn't take more than listening to the first five seconds of any of these songs to make your mood swing.

In my book How to get over anyone in few days i pointed out how the music you listen to can delay your recovery from breakups by months and months!! people who listen to romantic songs after breakups recover 10 times slower than those who don't, so beware of your playlist if you want to recover faster.

Beware of the Anchors

Have you ever listened to a piece of music, then suddenly remembered a past situation? This happens because your mind has previously associated both events with each other, so when one of them occurred you just recalled the second. This is what’s called an anchor.

Watch out for any musical parts that are anchored to your bad memories, because when your random music player chooses this musical part you are likely to feel down or at least get a little irritated.

Beware of the Wording

Some songs contain negative words and phrases that are much more destructive than negative self-talk. Some songs also contain messages that can program your mind, creating new beliefs, by consistently repeating a negative message over and over. A poplar example would be any love song that contains a phrase like “I cant live without you”. The more you will listen to this song, the more you will be programming your mind with such a belief and the more you are likely to end up feeling desperate when you break up with someone.

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