Music plays a very integral role in the world, and can be considered important to people everywhere. We use music for different things whether that be to set a fun environment, to relate to people, to promote calm or a sense of peacefulness, or to give us energy to complete whatever task is at hand.
We can use it to feel on a basic emotional level what the artist is portraying through the notes and lyrics.
It is a lot like a painting; there is the work of art in front of us, but we all look at it in different ways from our own perspective. It affects each of us in a slightly different way.
Some people are attracted or repulsed by different styles of music, and we all enjoy music within the context of where we are at in that particular mo- ment.
I would pose the idea that the music that we put into our minds is impor- tant in similar ways to the food that we fuel our bodies with.
Listening to negative songs high in levels of anger, depression, and degradation time after time is a lot like habitually eating fast foods high in levels of fat, salt, sugar, or preservatives. Having a big burger once in a while, however, will not give you coronary artery disease. Promoting a healthy positive lifestyle includes making lots of choices when it comes to what we eat, how we exercise, how we deal with stress and what messages we are receiving through the music that is present in our lives.
One of the greatest attributes of music is its ability to get us on the level of whoever produced it, in a way that we not only hear the words and the rhythm, but actually feel them. Each song elicits an emotional response from the listener, even on a subconscious level.
With this idea in mind, we can choose music specific to us to serve some kind of purpose. Music takes us somewhere, and we can choose the journey depending on what we are feeling. If our lives are feeling derailed and out of control or we are exhausted, we can listen to a more laid back style to promote feelings of being grounded and at peace with wherever we are. If we are feeling the need for energy we can listen to music that gives us life and vitality. If we are feeling good and in balance with our situation we can relate to music that expresses the same ideas of life being alright.
There are two very prominent ideas behind this. We can listen to music that promotes a feeling that we desire, or we can listen to music that reinforces or speaks to a feeling that we already have.
The therapeutic properties of music are as diverse and limitless as the individuals who create the songs and those that listen to them.
The musical experience is never the same from person to person, but we can all appreciate good songs and the roles that they play in our lives.
Wherever we are in life, there is a contribution that music can make. We have the ability to choose what that will be, and how we will experience it. In order to promote a holistic sense of well-being I would encourage injecting positive music to supplement a healthy diet, habits of stress management, and a healthy psycosocial state.
This type of well-being will allow us to see clearly who we want to be, and how we want to live, and will allow us to function in a way that we strive for our potential.
Working at making the various aspects of our lives positive will yield positive results and we will feel centered on the path towards living a fulfilling life that we want to live.
-Zach Coverdale, Contributing Writer
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