Do you have a soundtrack for your life? The music you listen to most often colors your perception of the world, your well-being, and your relationships with others.
A universal language, music ignites passion and emotion in all of us. When a favorite song plays on the radio, our spirits immediately lift. A soothing song can relax and calm our nerves. A slow, somber melody may move us to be thoughtful, pensive, or sad.
Music can inspire creativity and motivate us, and whether it triggers a subtle tap of our foot, a clap of our hands, or a dance involving our whole body, music physically moves us.
Nearly every part of your brain responds to music in some way. Listening to music releases neurochemicals, directly impacting our mental health. Music has shown to be helpful in treating patients with dementia, anxiety, and other mental troubles, and has been instrumental in the treatment and recovery of surgical and cancer patients.
How to Make Time For Music
You may listen to music on your way to work or during special occasions, but putting music at the forefront of your daily life can make every to-do more exciting and pleasurable.
- Get Quality Equipment. Finding a good device to listen to music is exponentially easier than it used to be. There’s countless choices for digital music players, speakers, and headphones. Find the ones you enjoy the most and fit your lifestyle.
- Organize Your Library. Create playlists and organize your music based on artist, season, or even your mood. Create playlists for focusing at work, doing chores, Halloween, Christmas … etc. The easier it is to find the right music for the moment, the more likely you are to integrate it as part of your daily life.
- Be Open to New. Expanding your music tastes can be a very personal experience for many of us. While our tried-and-true favorites are always available, Different types of music can elicit different emotional responses and experiences. Also, our brains are activated differently by new music than by music with which we’re familiar. Keep your repertoire fresh by regularly updating your library with something out-of-the-ordinary.
- Step Aside, TV. Instead of tuning out in front of the television for hours in the evening, try listening to music. You can listen to music solely, exploring new artists and genres, or you can put on something fun and dance with our family, or put on something mellow and read or play a board game.
- Your Motivation Anthem. You know the one – song that motivates you to jump out of bed, look your best, and take on the world at full force. Create a playlist of songs that give you that “I got this” feeling and play them as often as you need to.
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Adapted from 52 Small Changes for the Mind by Brett Blumenthal. Used with permission from Chronicle Books and author Brett Blumenthal.