The Art of Using Music for Stillness

The Art of Using Music for Stillness

"Without music, life would be a mistake." These words are attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher. We know that humankind has listened to music for at least 40,000 years. Many argue that this music is as old as the soul.

So how can you use it to your benefit?

Whatever your preference, all of us have a song that moves us. Perhaps several. Over your lifetime, music has come to represent a certain experience, a set of circumstances, or an event.

The music you listened to as a child. The songs you listened to as a teenager. That one song brings memories flooding back.

Here is the funny thing: Your brain constructs reality. When it does, it creates associations between everything—experiences, a place, people, and the weather. If you happened to be listening to a song when you met the person who was going to become your wife, for example, on a cold, rainy day in Shimla.

The song was indelibly associated with the experience.

You can therefore turn this to your advantage. Instead of a chance link between a song and an event, you can create a deliberate link between a song and a feeling of calm and peace.

What I am saying is not new. A prayer actually does the same thing. It triggers a set of neurons that fire, making you feel stronger and calmer. Except, perhaps you did not think of it that way; it was more a habit that maybe your mother taught you.

I am therefore asking you to make this entire process deliberate. Find a song, prayer, recitation, or anything really that instantly calms you down. Make a deliberate effort to listen to it when calming yourself down.

Repeat the process over and over again. Soon your brain will get wired to "learn" to trigger a sense of calm when stimulated with that music. Do it deliberately instead of accidentally.

Magic will ensue.

By the way, next week, we will also be adding this capacity to the Breathe Again app. The ability to listen to pre-scheduled content of your choice as a means to regulate your mood.

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