How to Get the most out of your Well-being with Music

Listening

Sometimes you can put the music on in the background whilst you carry on with your daily activities. It is good to sing or hum along, or even dance! You may prefer to do that alone, although it can be more fun with others.

Make play lists on your mobile phone or music player according to your mood, starting with music that fits with your mood, then, for example, gradually becoming lighter and faster if you feel sad, or calming if you feel tense.  You can create a play list for each emotion and name them accordingly e.g. calm, inspire, or uplift or music to wake you up; music to energize you; your happy music; music which vents frustration for you, etc.

Be mindful with music

Put some time aside to sit or lie down and be with the music, so that you can give it your full focus of attention. Ask others not to distract you, turn off your phone and do whatever else you need to do to reduce distractions.  Choose a piece of instrumental music as you might otherwise focus on the words.

Find somewhere comfortable and give it your total focus, with your full attention on the music.  Close your eyes as you listen.

  • Bring your attention to aspects of the music that you don’t normally notice: the rhythm, the different instruments or sounds at different times, the pauses, the tune and the background harmony, the varying loudness and speed of the music, the high and low notes, long and short.
  • Notice how the music is affecting you as you listen: notice your breathing, your heart rate, your body’s rhythm.
  • Bring your attention to the rest of your body, and notice the physical sensations as you listen to the music.
  • Notice what emotions the music bring up, and how your mind is being affected (calming, energising, inspiring, more alert, relaxing).
  • Listen to the music as a whole. Let it sweep you away and along, getting lost in that music. If any thoughts come into your mind, just notice them and allow them to be carried away on the music, and then bring your attention back to the music.

 

Participating

Singing or humming can be a very effective way to express yourself. Again choose the music wisely. Watch out for the song lyrics too as they can be very relevant.

Dancing or moving.

When we allow ourselves to move our bodies with the music, it can strengthen the power of the music to affect us. Any form of exercise is likely to be beneficial. In depression, physical activity has a very powerful anti-depressant effect.  It is motivating and energising. When we feel tense, due to stress, anxiety or anger, then physical activity uses the energy that the adrenaline response has created, thereby having a calming effect.

Playing an instrument, however badly, can help relieve stress, improve concentration, give you a sense of achievement and enjoyment, build confidence, improve your ability to think rationally, and has the benefits of including physical activity.

Taking up and learning to play a musical instrument may give you a focus, a sense of purpose, a goal, a sense of achievement and enjoyment, self-confidence and all the benefits previously described.

Playing music with others will add to the sense of fun and enjoyment and give you a sense of being close to others. That’s particularly important if you normally isolate yourself from others.  Music can be a great and less threatening way to get together with others who have similar interests, and any conversation is likely to be about the music and the activity. If you don’t already play an instrument, you could always join in with a community drumming group or choir in your area.

 

Source: getselfhelp.co.uk