Have you ever listened to a song and your mood was lifted? Or heard a ballad that made you tear up? Music has a way of integrating within our soul, allowing us to feel emotions, be it happy or sad. With the help of music, you can easily change your state of mind. Listening to particular genres or types of music can help you control your mood, creating a positive outlook on life each and every day.
Music can be used in a variety of ways as a mood lifter. You can incorporate music into your daily schedule as a well-being strategy or you can learn more about the connection between music and mental health.
How Does Music Improve Your Mental Health?
It is the general consensus that listening and creating music can have a positive effect on the mood and mental health of an individual. By incorporating music into your everyday life, you can see an increase in motivation and an elevation of mood. Music can help aid in relaxation which can alleviate stress and feelings of anxiety. Music can also be used to increase the efficiency of brain processing.
Music is not just a form of entertainment. There is a proven link between music and mental health. So, how can you use it in your daily schedule?
Increasing Your Focus
By listening to classical music, you can increase your focus at work if needed. If you suffer from anxiety or stress, classical music can be used to increase the processing function of your brain. At 60 beats per minute, playing the music softly in the background while at work can help you to focus much better on the task at hand.
Do you find yourself frustrated when trying to explain yourself to others? If you are having difficulty explaining how you feel or expressing your emotions, use music. Create your own music with lyrics or strum a tune on the guitar. Express yourself with sound. You can choose to share what you create with others or keep it to yourself as a way of healing.
Connecting with Others
Sometimes a mental health issue can cause social anxiety or other social issues. You may have trouble connecting with others on a social level. You can use music as a connector. Go to shows where the music you enjoy will be featured. Find friends who enjoy the same type of music to help you feel less socially awkward and make new friends.
On a Deeper Level
Music can be used by anyone as a form of personal therapy. Some people feel better by simply belting out a tune while in the car with the windows rolled down. If you suffer from a more debilitating mental condition and need deeper treatment, music can still be of use.
There are aspects of therapy that use music as a tool to help one express themselves as well as work on any issues they have. Examples of music therapy can be found below.
Analysis of Lyrics
Mental health professionals often suggest talk therapy as a way for a patient to express themselves and get out what is bothering them. But sometimes, sensitive topics can be difficult to discuss.
With lyric analysis, the individual has a less threatening approach to talk therapy. A therapist may ask a patient to think of a song that reminds them of their situation. By analyzing the lyrics, more information is presented that helps the professional understand the patient and what they are dealing with.
Finding a song that correlates with the experience can also help the patient work through their mental condition.
While not everyone is a musician, it can be beneficial to play an instrument and focus on musical creativity. Oftentimes, group therapy will include musical instruments. Drums, rain sticks, and other instruments can be provided so a storm sound can be created. The group can escalate the situation as they see fit, letting out emotions as the sound of the storm takes over the room.
The highs and lows created with the music can be discussed and dissected, helping everyone to see how they are feeling with the presentation of music.
Another option for therapy is songwriting. With this outlet, the patient has the ability to express themselves however they like. Creating lyrics can be very therapeutic and reflect the thoughts and experiences of the individual. Instruments and sounds can be used to reflect the emotion of the song with the entire process providing a sense of validation to the patient. Self-worth can be built upon as the patient is able to express themselves in a way that is revealing and raw, letting go of any anger, sadness or other feelings that are contributing to the mental condition.
Once ready, the song can be shared with others, providing a sense of validation in what the patient is feeling and seeing how it affects others. The process of creating a song can be very healing and a great way to let go of major feelings that are being held on to, stopping the healing process from going further.
Recognizing the Power of Listening
It is important for therapy patients to recognize the power of listening to music. Listening to music can help to regulate your mood due to the rhythmic and repetitive aspects of the melody. The brain is calmed, and impulses are reduced. A patient can easily become calm or escape a depressive state by listening to music that affects the brain in a positive way. A music therapist will suggest playing music to match the current mood of the patient and then shift the music to create a calm or positive state of mind.
All form of music can have a therapeutic effect, but it is important to note that every individual will be affected differently by every song. Some people may be calmed by classical music while another might be reminded of a traumatic experience. Upbeat music might put some patients in a cheery and positive mood, while others might feel anxious and stressed. It’s all about finding a balance. A music therapist knows how to work with each patient to find the best form of music treatment that will work based on the individual.
It may take a great deal of time and effort to find the right form of treatment, but once the right path is found, music can be used to heal the mind and body. A patient will begin to feel calm and at ease, learning how to use music to feel at ease, when anxiety or stress becomes overwhelming. No matter the mental health condition, music can be used as a form of treatment to see lasting results.
We can all relate to music in some form or fashion. When you suffer from a mental condition, finding a treatment facility or professional who focuses on music as a form of therapy will help you to feel better and see a noticeable difference in your mental condition.
Learn more about how such therapy can be of assistance by contacting a therapist who specializes in this practice.