- Mental Health»
Music, the Inspiration for Emotional Health
How frequently does music affect you?
We don't just hear music, we experience it! The beat pulses through our veins, the melody sings to our senses, and the words wrap around our hearts in ways that are virtually unexplained. Music has the power to soothe us into a gentle slumber or motivate us to militant action.
Media experts know this important phenomena, and use it to their advantage. Music has become an integral part of everything we do, and it influences our lives in profound ways.
Knowing this, we can use music as a tool to help us establish and maintain our emotional health. In order to do so, however, we need to understand just what music does to us personally, and then become aware of the opportunities available to us on a daily basis to use it for our benefit. The paragraphs below address the following questions:
- How does music affect our moods?
- When can music be used to change our emotions?
- What is the benefit of using music as a tool?
- Why does inspiration through music increase our emotional health?
“Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can't.”— Johnny Depp
- Change Your Emotions With Visualization
We encourage our children to imagine, pretend, and use their minds to take them from place to place while they read. As we get older, visualization is not as easy, but it is worth the effort.
How does music affect our moods?
Most of us choose music to match how we are feeling at the time. We listen to mournful melodies that allow us to cry out our sadness. When our hearts are broken, we choose songs that speak of betrayal, infidelity, and broken dreams. If we feel like dancing, we play music that will bring us to our feet.
Music is used in public places to influence our consumer purchasing choices. We enter the department store and the music is different depending upon the time of day, who frequents the store, and how long the store owners want them to remain there. Music that speaks to a certain generation is played when those people are most likely in the store ready to buy.
Soft, relaxing music keeps people calm and in an amiable mood in doctors offices and elevators. We are much more willing to wait when we feel relaxed and comfortable. Athletic events are coupled with rock music to engender a sense of excitement and keep the crowd on the edge of their seats.
All around us, the sounds and words we hear have an effect on who we are and what we do. The more aware we are of these forces and how we respond to them, the more we are able to make those choices that establish and maintain our emotional health.
- Bringing Children to the Waters of Life
Children are naturally curious. They want to feel, hear, touch, taste, and smell. Water allows them to experience all of these in multiple ways. The Savior, as the water of life, can be experienced in many ways through our senses.
When can music be used to change our emotions?
As a young mother, I struggled with Sunday mornings. Trying to get seven children ready for church and out the door was a nightmare. I got to the point where I hated Sundays! By the time our entire family was seated in the church for services, I was certainly not feeling the Spirit!
I remembered an address given by one of our church leaders on the importance of choosing uplifting music as a way to keep our moral and spiritual purity. I decided that if music could be used to keep us morally clean, I could use it to help us with our Sunday morning rush. I started playing music with a soothing melody and uplifting lyrics while getting ready for the day. An interesting thing happened in our home.
The music brought a spirit of peace and serenity. Rather than hurrying around and shouting at the children, I was able to remain calm, and they did as well. Together, we prepared ourselves to attend our Sunday meetings with a much better attitude. When we arrived, we enjoyed our Sabbath day for a change. We have continued this practice throughout the years.
To this day, I use music to help me determine my mood. I use Christian Rock music to uplift and motivate me during physical workouts and housecleaning tasks. The positive lyrics feed my soul, and the rock beat keeps me moving at a brisk pace. I like Jazz music in the evenings. It helps me to unwind after a long day. Classical music gives me a sense of order when things are chaotic.
Each song inspires different emotions within us, depending upon the beat, melody, harmony, and lyrics. Music is one of the most power tools we have at our disposal to change how we are thinking and feeling.
I have come to know that thoughts, like water, will stay on course if we make a place for them to go. Otherwise, our thoughts follow the course of least resistance, always seeking the lower levels. Probably the greatest challenge and the most difficult thing you will face in mortal life is to learn to control your thoughts.— Boyd K. Packer
The Emotional Survival Handbook is a personal resource for changing our thoughts, feelings, and actions for the establishment and maintenance of Emotional Health.
What is the benefit of using music as a tool?
In The Emotional Survival Handbook, we are taught that our thoughts, feelings, actions, and desires all affect each other, with our belief system at the central core. Our emotional health is the sum total of all these factors combined.
Emotional health is established and maintained when an individual develops the ability to change how they feel by changing some aspect of the "I Am Wheel." Since music is an all-encompassing experience, we increase our emotional health when we choose music that uplifts and strengthens our feelings of self-worth.
Inspirational music does to our emotional health what a blood transfusion does to the body. It infuses our souls with high quality fuel that rejuvenates our personal power. Like drinking liquid affirmations, inspirational music brings into our minds the critical truths that give us personal strength. As a result, we are able to make choices that ultimately bring us peace and happiness.
- Looking Up - The Key to Emotional Survival
Looking up will save us from disaster, not just when we are on the road, but when life is at its darkest.
Why does inspiration through music increase our emotional health?
Music channels our thoughts and emotions. We act out that which we live through music. It becomes a part of our subconscious mind, and plays back like a video from our memory when we least expect it.
Jim Rohn, success guru, once said that negative is automatic. The weeds in a garden come up without any effort on our part. Our thoughts work the same way. When we don't do anything to provide structure and meaning to them, we default to a lower level of habitual living. A concerted effort is required to turn things around.
Inspirational music provides an avenue for self-improvement. It fills our lives with truths that uplift and edify. We turn our hearts and actions upward toward God, and look to him in our thoughts. Our efforts to improve expand exponentially as we realize that he wants to be with and help us. We connect with him in our minds and hearts and in turn, he blesses us with a recognition of his unconditional love.
Establishing and maintaining emotional health is not an easy task, but with the inspiration of good music on our side, we find ourselves able to do things we could not do previously. Our feelings of self-worth increase and we recognize the negative for what it really is, the efforts of the adversary to pull us downward.
Use inspirational music today to change your thoughts, feelings, and actions, for your emotional health!
©2016 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. For more information on emotional health, see www.denisewa.com.