January 6, 2020
Music can impact you in ways that you may not even be aware of. Have you ever started tapping your feet or hands to music you didn’t even realize was playing? Have you ever been listening to a song and then suddenly felt really, really sad for no apparent reason? Music has power over us that we often don’t even realize. So why not harness that power, and make music work for you?
More than Just Mood
Most people are aware, on some level, that music can influence moods. When a happy, joyful song comes on, people have a hard time not smiling or dancing or singing along. Likewise, a song that is full of anger might make muscles tense up, and people may even become shorter tempered with one another. Soft, relaxing music can calm you and help you sleep. There are many ways that music has an impact on our daily lives. Often, you may forget to even pay attention to the music around you and are perhaps not conscious of the effect it is having on you.
More importantly, though, music has been proven to impact depression and even anxiety long-term. For example, if you listened to a lot of music that was gloomy or sad, it could help send you into a depression, or intensify depression you may already have. On the flip side, though, it has also been proven that music can help to pull you out of depression or lessen your anxiety. Particularly when you choose more upbeat music, as rhythm is a big factor in improving moods. The power of music is one that is often subconscious, but very powerful.
Being aware of what you are listening to can be difficult. Not just what is in your playlist, but also what your friends and family are listening to, what music is on your favorite shows and music, or even in public places where you spend a lot of time.
You may think to be aware of what you listen to isn’t worth your effort. But if you pay attention to what you wear, and you make conscious choices about what is going in your mouth, so why not also be conscious of the music that is going into your mind? It is actually like having a secret weapon that helps to protect your mental health.
Finding the Power of Music
You have developed other tools of self-care to help you stay healthy mentally and become stronger than ever. Now you have a new one – conscious music choices. Music can uplift, inspire, motivate, and make you feel so many emotions. Music can also work against you, too, and is equally powerful positively and negatively. It is up to you to choose. It is up to you to harness the power and use this new secret weapon in your life.
Ways to help music work for your mental health and happiness:
• Go through your music library and look for songs that may be triggers for you emotionally or mentally, and delete permanently. They’re not worth it.
• Make a playlist for your routines, including exercise, self-care, and more. Choose relaxing music before bedtime, driving, powerful music for your exercise routines, etc. Having a playlist also helps as a positive reminder to keep up with your routines.
• Find songs that always get you pumped, and make a playlist for when you need a little extra energy or motivation to do something.
• Make a playlist of songs that represent and celebrate your growth since treatment and play it often to remind you of how awesome you are.
• Share your positive playlists with friends and see if the music helps them, too. Everyone can use music to work for them.
• Some classical music can actually improve your study skills, so why not give it a try? Or make a study playlist of music that is not distracting and maybe helps you focus better as you study.
• Learn to sing or play a musical instrument (or a new one) and see what happens when you grow and learn new things. There is so much power in creating music, too.
• If you are already musical, find ways to play with new people, especially if your former music friends are no longer in your scope of mental health. In addition to experiencing the power of making music, you can also find amazing new friendships with like-minded musicians who honor your mental health.
• Try new genres of music by choosing a new genre each week. If you like the new genre, you have increased your playlist and also expanded your mind.
Perhaps you have never really thought about how much music impacts your mind and especially your mental health. It is not a difficult tool to add to your box of mental tools, it mainly requires creating an awareness of what you are putting into your mind. By consciously making choices of what you do and do not listen to, you can choose the musical and lyrical messages that are going into your mind. In addition to all of the skills that you have already put into practice in your life, you now have another way to help you actively choose your mental health each day.
Unleash the power of music in your life and find even more joy and strength. Potomac Programs can be a reference point of mental health for you. For questions call 1-855-809-0409.