For me, personal wellness is defined as a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well – being, and I’ve found that music, by its very nature, can tune in to every area of personal wellness. Here are 5 ways that music can help you improve your personal wellness:
Use Music to spark your brain. Our auditory nutrition makes a huge impact on our wellness. Most sounds we can not control – but we definitely can ADD sounds and music to our auditory diet to make us feel better. Today a number of scientists are highlighting the role of music in the brain. They are scanning the activity that music triggers in our neurons and observing how music alters our biochemistry. What they are finding continues to fascinate and amaze – specific music soothes and stimulates (depending on what we need) and does so simply and effectively.
Use Music to give you a boost during exercise. The right music can help you produce/perform better. The research suggests up to 15% better. Let music help you get moving….up to 15% change in productivity…how many people have told me that they need the music during their run or they would just stop mid-stride. The music seems to propel them forward helping them get maximum benefit.
Use Music to help you change your feelings. Accepting our feelings is important, but so is assessing whether our feelings need to be changed. Sometimes we might say ‘ I want a bit more of that’ or ‘I want to feel better than I am.’ Music can help you get there. By choosing the right music, music CAN be the ideal companion to our feelings….helping you feel validated or helping you feel changed.
Use Music to keep your memory sharp. People have long known that music can trigger powerful recollections, but now a brain-scan study shows us what is really happening and why when we use the right music we can actually help keep our memories in good working order. The part of the brain known as the medial pre-frontal cortex sits just behind the forehead. “What seems to happen is that a piece of familiar music serves as a soundtrack for a mental movie that starts playing in our head.” said Petr Janata, a cognitive neuroscientist at University of California. “It calls back memories of a particular person or place, and you might all of a sudden see that person’s face in your mind’s eye.” This information is important because music can therefore help us remember important events and people through the music that we associate with that event or person. So, identifying the music that triggers memories can be useful in helping to recall memories and will help keep those memories sharp.
Use Music to remind yourself what you value most in life. This week I was reminded by a client how music is a part of the spiritual equation. She sees spirituality as a sense of well-being on the inside that later affects our outside behaviours. Over the last 6 months Audrey has said that the music therapy sessions have changed her from being angry at work every day (working in a large health care association) to feeling much more joyous and productive every day. All she needed were the right strategies to help her find her music and use it in the right way.
Fueling up on the right music is like injecting a multi-vitamin into your entire being.
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Jennifer Buchanan, BMT, MTA is the happy owner of JB Music Therapy and Author of TUNE IN. Our “Music Speaks” Blog aims to inspire you to use music with greater intention and knowledge. Call us to help or and browse our resources here.