It takes no extra time out of your day to listen to happy songs.
Choosing music more consciously has to be one of the most pleasant Strategies of the Spirit available to us. Once you turn it on, you don’t have to move a muscle. It has immediate and direct effects on our mood, heart rate, and muscle tension.
We benefit when we choose the type of music we need most at any given time: Happy songs or calming music. The science explaining how music effects us is growing.
Integrative medicine guru Andrew Weil states:
"Music can have a powerful effect on mind and body. Hospitals use music therapy to ease pain, boost patients' moods and counteract depression, help them sleep and reduce muscle tension so that they can relax. Music therapy is also used to stimulate nursing home residents and improve the moods of psychiatric patients and help them to gain more control over their lives.
Music is known to lessen anxiety and fatigue, and can even reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Some small studies have suggested that music therapy can slow the progression of Parkinson's disease.
Our bodies react instinctively to different rhythms. When you listen to slow, relaxing music, your heart naturally beats more slowly, breathing deepens and brainwaves slow down. These physiological reactions are all components of the relaxation response."
Strategy of the Spirit #6 asks us to pay more attention to what we are listening to and to choose music more consciously.
I have often told my clients this simple formula:
If you are anxious, tense, impulsive, irritable, or overly “driven” listen to music that has no words, and a calming melody and rhythms.
If you are sad, depressed or lacking energy listen to livelier beats and upbeat lyrics (Putamayo's Latin and Caribbean rhythms are my favorites.)
I will sometimes have people to make a “Happy Music Mix” or a “Music to Calm the Savage Beast Mix”. You cancreate Pandora stations for different types of music, depending on how you want to affect your body and mood.
One particularly beneficial CD is Sound Body/Sound Mind. It has very pleasant music designed to influence brain wave activity and encourage the body's natural potential for healing. Very relaxing. It meditates your brain for you! I have used it myself for years, recommend it to clients often, and have frequently given it as a gift. Some clients use it to fall asleep or on airplane flights. (Listen with headphones.)