Music and your mind…Imagine yourself in a dentist, you will more than likely notice that relaxing music is being played in the background, the music may not take your full attention, but deep in your mind and brain, something is happening on a neurological and chemical level. Endorphins are being released and a general feeling of calm come over you. The dentist visit you feared seems somewhat less scary, Music is effecting you to bring calmness. You visit a gym, the chances are you will be greeted by fast and energetic music with a high beats per minute rate.
Again your brain and mind becomes activated but this time it is being stirred to action not to relax. Adrenaline may begin to pump around your body as a result of the beats and style of music being played and helps you to exercise at an energetic and fast pace.
You go to church, the worship music is being played, a sense of awe and peace and thankfulness comes over you, as your mind and brain responds to the music being played, a different effect from the dentist music and the gym music yet affected nonetheless.
Music can change our mood in seconds, it causes a wide range of emotions to rise, from calmness, excitement and happiness and even to extremes like anger, rage and even depression. We can choose what we listen to in general, we can manipulate our own feelings with music, we can choose to feel relaxed or excited or aggressive by the music we choose to listen to. When a musical instrument is played in minor keys, it tends to bring a melancholy feeling, solemn and even depressing result. Major keys tend to be uplifting, it is down to the musician what effect they are looking for.
As a musician myself, I will choose a beat and write a song according to the style of the beat, I tend to choose a good variety of instruments rather than repetitive beats so their is harmony to my songs.
Depending on what mood we are in we will tend to choose the music that enhances that particular mood, for example if we feel sad, then we tend to choose sad songs to increase our emotion of sadness and to let our feelings out, if we are in a good mood we will play something happy and upbeat again to enhance our mood, also if we are angry we may listen to heavy beats or something with a harsh musical overtone to let our rage out maybe on a punchbag or lifting weights, hopefully never to get angrier and take it out on people.
Music contains no chemicals and yet it has a chemical reaction in our brain, it is a truly fascinating phenomenon that just by hearing different sounds our mood can be changed for better or worse. Today think intently on your mood, what music are you going to choose today? Are you going to use music to increase your mood positively or negatively? Think of the lyrics of the songs you are hearing too, my daughter was listening to a very catchy tune a while ago and I found myself even nodding my head to it and thinking, “this song ain’t too bad” but one day I suddenly caught the lyrics, despite the beat, the lyrics were actually very dark and deceptive. I told my daughter she couldn’t listen to it anymore because it was a bad song, she was fine about it and we banned the song from our house.
I have learnt to check the lyrics of songs very carefully over the years and made sure that not only is the beat what I want to affect my mood but also make sure the lyrics are safe and not sinful. We choose what we eat, but we sometimes just feed our minds with music that is poisoned and can affect us negatively.
What are you listening to? Music is powerful so be careful what you take into your soul.
Jason Needs is a volunteer psychotherapist for MindHealthMusicUK. To contact Jason fill out the contact form on our website.Ask to speak with Jason Needs.