The Benefits of Relaxing Music
The right kind of music can relax your mind, sharpen your focus, drown out distractions, or get you pumped to work on your to-do list. Just as each of us is different, each of us has a type and style of music that puts us in that groove we are looking for.
I am far from the traditional; when looking for calm relaxing meditation music I seem more focused on relaxing than meditation. I feel, and have often said, that I can relax without meditating, but I cannot meditate without relaxing. Often I will select a playlist on one of the free sites and continue with what I am doing. I allow the music to just be in the background until suddenly I realize I have to hit replay, just to listen to something that registered as Good.
Key Benefits of Music
Reducing Stress and relaxing the body
Music that relaxes your body and your mind can reduce how much stress you feel. Reducing stress also contributes to improved health. Listening to music can help you decrease the stress level hormone called cortisol, counteracting the effects of chronic stress. Stress causes about 60%
of our diseases and illnesses.
When you listen to music, you release a chemical in your
brain called dopamine; a ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter. We all know how the music we choose affects our mood and vice versa. Our choice of music enhances our current mood and can also lift our spirits when we are feeling down or depressed.
Listening to music can help you let go and surrender to relaxation, inspiring a deeper relaxation and easing the way into meditation. As music absorbs our attention, it acts as a distraction at the same time it helps to explore emotions. It can be a great aid to meditation, helping to prevent the mind wandering.
When your body and mind are relaxed, your body’s natural ability to heal is greatly enhanced. Studies have shown positive benefits when patients listen to relaxing music before and after surgery and in a recovery setting. As Bob Marley said “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
Comprehension and Retention
One of the most often cited studies into the question of music’s effect on the mind involves the so-called Mozart effect. Experiments carried out by scientists at the University of California at Irvine found that students’ test scores improved after listening to Mozart, compared with a relaxation tape or silence. This suggests that listening to certain kinds of music impacts and boosts our ability to think out long-term, more abstract solutions to logical problems that arise. The Mozart effect has been overblown and over-promised, and refuted as having little or no effect, but that doesn’t mean it can be entirely dismissed. Albert Einstein once said “It occurred to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition. My discovery the result of musical perception.”
Balance In Your Life
We all have our favorite type or genre of music. And most of us have several types of music we habitually play each day. When exercising or doing strenuous physical work, my playlist is composed of music that motivates me to push myself to a higher level. When studying or having a conversation, I prefer something that allows my mind to stay on task.
“The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it.” by Anonymous It can be difficult to create a sense of balance in our lives. Use relaxation music to create a zone of peace that will allow you to approach each day on balance. That peaceful zone, for me, is when I transition from one set of activities to another or when I know I am going into a high stress situation.
Listening to relaxation music in the morning can help put you in a peaceful mood and allow you to prepare for the day’s activities, to focus your thoughts. I’ve found that when I am calm and balanced at the start of my day, I can look at my schedule and identify problem area’s ahead of time. This gives me a chance to plan out coping strategies.
Relaxing music at the end of the day can help to let go of the day’s worries, to quiet thoughts and helps with falling asleep easier. Once I allow my body to relax and begin to clear my mind, I can look at my day without allowing the stress to build my anxiety level higher. I look at the things that I can and cannot control, without dwelling on them. The day is over, let the anxiety go. You can find my tips on getting a good night’s sleep here.
Deeper Effective Meditation
Meditation, according to Wikipedia, is the practice of using a technique to focus attention and awareness to reach a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. Definitions in Merriam-Webster include the meaning of “thinking deeply”; as well as “to focus one’s mind for a period of time,” and “to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.”
Most of us associate meditation with finding enlightenment, following the teachings of wise men and women. Practicing meditation is almost a lifestyle for some. I prefer to think of meditation more along the lines of just thinking deeply. To allow myself the quiet moments to think about something without being distracted and wandering off subject.
I use meditation to reduce anxiety, to build upon the peaceful feeling of well-being that helps with my perception of who and where I am in this world of ours. I focus on the positives; the things that feel good and that I can have a direct impact upon. The negative stressors, I look to see how I can change to allow less anxiety to be in my life.
Martin Luther said “Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.”
Calm, relaxing meditation music comes in many genres and really is determined by your own musical taste. Long ago I began experimenting with different music, looking for the perfect style that could help me deal with daily stress and anxieties. I found that the very best genre is… whatever I happen to be listening to at the moment.
Not all music is calming and relaxing. Heavy Metal, Hip-Hop, Rap and styles like the Blues are very difficult for me to relax to. But then, those have an emotion all their own, a particular mood that is the goal.
I encourage looking outside your normal music and trying some of the amazing music that is all around us.
Questions and comments are always welcomed. And don’t forget, sign up for my e-mail!
Walking the Path of Peace, Sanders