How Music Notes Help You Navigate Negative Emotions
Everybody deals with negative emotions from time to time. Some of us more than others. But regardless of how often you deal with negative emotions, you still would probably prefer a better way to deal with them that makes the experience less, well, negative. And don’t worry cause I have just the piece of advice you need today. If you or someone you know has trouble dealing with negativity check out the article below to find out how you can use something enjoyable like music to deal with those negative feelings.
I’ll start this off by saying that I am personally a huge proponent of music and playing music. I play four separate instruments and find an enormous amount of comfort and fulfillment in all of them. And I can speak first hand to music’s ability to help you deal with negative emotions. See I once asked the person who taught me how to play guitar why they played music. And you know what their answer was?
That it was cheaper than therapy.
That’s right, the most brilliant musician I have ever had the opportunity to work with gravitated to music in the first place as a crux for his mental health. And I understood what he meant right away. If you, like a lot of people, have trouble shutting off your negative emotions or thoughts, music can provide a great pathway to silencing these intrusive thoughts.
See, when you are playing a song you don’t have time to worry about all the things you are sad about. You have to be focused on what your hands are going to be doing next. Music doesn’t give you the mental space to have time to worry. You have to be paying attention the entire time and as such, you are focused on the song you are playing and not just the negative emotion you are feeling.
But even if you don’t play music, and don’t have the time in your life to start learning an instrument now, there are plenty of other ways that music can help you deal with and process negativity in your life. One such way is that the research shows that listening to songs you love will scientifically brighten your mood. I’m not exactly sure why we needed to research this or need scientific proof, because to me it seems like something everybody already knows. Of course hearing your favorite songs will lift your mood.
However, your favorite music has also shown an ability to decrease the reaction you have to negative stimuli. This can be everything from an unpleasant odor, to back breaking manual labor. This is another one I can personally attest to. When I worked in a plastics factory and had to handle burning hot plastic as it came off the molds every time, listening to music while I did it made the pain in my hands seem much less severe then when I wasn’t listening to songs that I enjoyed.
And on top of all of those things that music can do to help you deal with negativity, I haven’t even gotten to the best way it helps you yet. That’s right, the biggest way that music helps you deal with negativity is by increasing your ability to regulate your emotions. I mean what is negativity? It is you feeling bad or not well about something in your life, the world around you, or something that happened to you in your day.
Well the good news about that means that all of the negativity you experience is really an internal process. It's not the world making you feel negative.. Things are happening in the world and you are producing negative emotions as a result. Well in order to fix that problem you just need to produce fewer negative emotions, or emotions that are of a lower quality of negativity. And this is where music's ability to help you regulate your emotions comes right in.
I mean if negativity is just your negative emotions, then music's ability to help you regulate your emotions, will in turn help you regulate your negative emotions. And by being able to better regulate your negative emotions you are better able to react to them, maintain them, and process them. All of which mean that you will be dealing with the negative feelings for a shorter amount of time, and while you're dealing with feelings of negativity, those feelings won’t be so severe.
Well there you have it. That’s just some of the ways that listening to or playing music can help you better process negativity in your life. And while I know the idea of picking up music as an adult can sound too challenging, I assure you that you can do it. I personally can’;t say enough about all the positive impacts that playing and studying music has had on my mental health and on my emotional wellbeing.
But even if you can’t take the time to learn an instrument right now, there are plenty of other important ways music can help you deal with negativity. It’s ability to help you regulate you regulate your emotions alone should be enough for you to consider it as a serious option in you battlerbattle against negative emotions and thoughts.