Bob Marley may have put it best when he said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.” It turns out that listening to music might just have the same kind of effect as meditation, which has been proven repeatedly to decrease anxiety and give you a deeper connection to your body.
Quartzy recently put out a piece explaining the similarities between listening to music and meditation, and I’m pumped about it. Like everyone else on this spinning rock, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs. By simply following my daily-go-to list of music, you can visualize what was going on in my life at the time. But now I realize, I was just meditating with music.
At the beginning of a new relationship, I may have focused on uplifting songs filled with hope and emotion. At the close, maybe a mix of angry or sad songs. For studying, I would put on instrumental tunes to stop myself from singing along. And, if it was time to party, music was always there to remind me to always “Fight For Your Right to Party.”
How do we use music to meditate? By not only choosing the right tracks but also focusing our thoughts on what we want to come out of the “meditation” with. Here are five things to consider when using music for your mediation.
What’s the goal of your meditation? Do you want to change your emotional state? Embrace it? One of the best things about music is the fact that it can build up a feeling or create an entirely new one inside you.
Always remember that your favorite music has a strange way of being able to pull you out of a lot of funks if you let it.
One of the greatest parts about music is the pure portability of it. If you need to step away from your current reality RIGHT NOW, grab your phone and start streaming. In other situations, think about if you really want to dive deep. Do you want your favorite chair? Do you want to lie down? Eyes open or closed?
The setting can change your meditation completely, so think about how deep down the rabbit hole you’d like to go.
This connects a lot with goal. If you’re looking for calm and focus, check out the “Deep Focus” playlist on Spotify. Love? Anger? Down in the dumps? No matter what your goal is, you can find a genre or a playlist that will help you embrace it.
Genre has the ability to help you hold onto a feeling or let it go, the choice is yours.
Depending on your audiophile-ness, this could be important. Do you want a full room of sound to embrace you? Do you want a head only vibe that hits you directly in the brain? This one depends on not only you but your access to different listening apparatus.
Your experience with music could be completely changed using a different speaker.
Length of Time
How long do you need or do you have? A quick meditation may be a song, but to really get into it, you may need more. Test different amounts of time and see what works best for you.
A single song could change everything or an entire album might not be enough, everyone is different.
At the end of the day, everyone is different and while music might do it for you, silent meditation might also work. Or you might just need to go to a live show and get your meditation on with a room full of people looking for the same thing you are.