Music and Mindfulness
The brain is a dynamic organ that adjusts to various environmental exposures. Music has been shown to be an effective stimulus for brain plasticity, increasing mindfulness, and enforcing and reinforcing positive emotions among listeners. We get a rush of dopamine and oxytocin when we listen, which is identical to the pleasure we get when we exercise, fall in love, or finish a hard task.
Music is inextricably linked to our innermost reward systems in the brain. It often triggers episodic memories or memories that are associated with different emotions. When listening to a song that you associate with positive emotions, your brain mimics the effects the music had originally in that moment. Maybe it was a birthday party or a song you listened to on a road trip with friends. When you listen to it again, the emotions you felt then will resurface.
Music also plays other roles in our mental health. It is amazing the tings that beats can do. There is something called binary beats. Have you ever hear of this? You can learn allbout this below.
How Can You Practice Mindfulness with Music?
First we must ask, “What is mindfulness?” Once we have a clear understand of what it is, we can then explore how music can play a role. Below are ways you can practice mindfulness with music.
Listen. Plug in some headphones and immerse yourself in your favorite songs. Take notice of the emotions you feel, and how they may affect you emotionally or physically. If it’s high tempo, you might tap your feet along, or feel excited. If it’s a slow song, you might feel relaxed as you listen.
Listen without judgment. Allow any thoughts to pass through your consciousness, then slowly return your attention to the music. Play songs that are associated with positive memories and compile a playlist of those.
Lo-fi! Lo-fi consists of intentional imperfections that keeps the brain aware but relaxed. This genre has been proven to activate the frontal lobe of your brain which controls many of your cognitive skills such as memory, judgment, and impulse control. Many students play lo-fi while studying as white noise and to retain focus.
Getting in touch with your thoughts and behaviors is key to understanding yourself. Music can be an effective tool in developing positive reinforcement and practicing mindfulness.
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