Simple Actions To Regain Focus (Part 8) – Listen to Music
Action 5: Listen to Music
“Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it.”
This one is such a no-brainer but hardly anybody does it.
Everyone knows that music works wonders to alleviate stress, but very few of us use it during the course of their day.
In the age of internet radio, mobile devices, and any other piece of technology that plays music it is now possible for us to listen to whatever songs we want wherever and whenever we want.
These days most office settings will allow you to listen to music provided you are wearing headphones.
Music has been shown to help people:
Increase deep breathing
Reduce feelings of tension
Increase body temperature (blood flow)
Decrease feelings of pain
Reduce heart rate
Lower blood pressure
In fact there is a growing field of health care know as Music Therapy, which incorporates music as part of treatment for various conditions (cancer, pain management, depression, heart attack, stroke).
Here is the key – listen to the music that you like at a volume level that is not potentially harmful to your ears.
I say this because many a person I know has run out and bought meditation and relaxation recordings only to find that they produce somewhat adverse effects, which is in keeping with what research studies have shown.
Does that mean that meditation and relaxation recordings are bad?
It just illustrates the point that they are not beneficial for someone unfamiliar with them.
Listening to music that you personally enjoy is the key to initiating feelings of relaxation.
In fact research has found that changes in brainwave activity levels that music can bring can also enable the brain to shift speeds more easily on its own as needed.
This means that music can bring lasting benefits to your state of mind, even after you’ve stopped listening.
In my experience the most beneficial use of music is to have it on as much as possible – in your headphones or simply in the background if you are somewhere where others will not be distracted.
The reason being that whether you are aware of it or not, the music is helping you to regulate your feelings of tension throughout the day.
Listening to music that you like has a meditative effect on the hormones and muscles in your body, thereby minimizing your feelings of tension.
Basically, the more often you are listening to music, the more likely that your body is being protected from becoming tense.
I am also an advocate of pumping some tunes during times when you notice that you are distracted, stressed, or overwhelmed.
The only drawback is that using music in this manner will mentally take you out of whatever you are doing.
This is not necessarily a bad thing as sometimes it is best to mentally “check out” of whatever situation or task is causing you stress rather than employing a quick action.
It may be the case that your mind simply needs a break and that is where listening to music is more effective than any other action you can take.
In my opinion we do not have enough music in our daily work lives and this stress-buster should definitely not be simply reserved for the end of the day when we are “winding down.”
It should be used throughout your day as often as possible to help keep you from completely “winding up.”