Music is something that so many people can relate to. Music is everywhere. Music is in so many cultures, languages, and settings. It applies to people of all ages.
In mental health services (such as therapy), there is an approach called Music Therapy that is used for many types of concerns including managing stress, expressing/processing emotions, managing pain, helping people with Alzheimer’s, and so much more.
In our day to day life, we can use music as a way to increase our personal well-being. Music can also impact the nature of our family.
Try this little experiment:
- Pull up YouTube or Pandora or some other place you like to get music from. Select a couple of very different types of music. Tell your kids to move their bodies in the way that the music makes them feel. See how they act during and after the music is played. Also, have them tell you what the music made them feel. (It’s so precious what kids will come up with.)
So, for personal stress reduction, play some music that makes you feel calm and content on the inside. Music has a special way of connecting with emotions. Because music does not necessarily require the cognitive, language part of the brain in order to impact our functioning, it is able to directly move from our ears to the emotion, memory, and movement center of the brain, although in reality the brain is a lot more complex than just that. (Yes, music has words, so, if you do sing along, you are using language, but singing the words does not have to be included in order to reap the benefits of music.)
See this article for more info: http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/music-and-happiness1.htm
The trick is to be very aware of yourself and how you are feeling deep down when you listen to different types of music, so that you can know what type of music to play when you want to feel a certain way or when you want to motivate yourself to do a certain thing. For instance, a certain type of music might help you to have the energy to get up and get some cleaning done. Music might help you to relax your body and fall asleep. Music might give you a sense of peace in the midst of stressful times. And so much more.
*Here is an article that does a thorough job of explaining more about music therapy. It is by Adriana Barton. (added 6/5/14)
Try to listen to the following songs and note how they make you feel.
(Also, the same music might have a different impact on different people.)