Music Therapy as Self-Care: An Exercise for Personal Peace
Image courtesy of Neon Music.
In a world that is extremely fast paced, the pressures of society including raising kids, keeping a job, getting the grade, etc., it is often difficult to prioritize mental health. When you’re dealing with a busy lifestyle, you need something like music to avoid burnout and to check in with yourself. Music can easily alleviate the pressures of everyday life and can help to take the mind off of different stressors. Music therapy and self-care go hand in hand! Music has been proven to provide benefits such as decreased anxiety, increased self-awareness, and overall mindfulness.
This article will discuss:
Self-care is very important in maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. What does this mean? Reminding yourself that you and your needs are important produces feelings of positivity while boosting confidence and self-esteem. Self-care is crucial for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Here are a few reasons why neglecting self-care could be detrimental to overall prosperity:
Self-care encourages everybody to maintain a healthy relationship with themselves. Self-care is concerned about replenishing one’s own resources without depleting others. While some might misconstrue self-care as selfishness, self-care is important for health and stress management.
Humans respond to music on a deep and fundamental level. Let’s face it, music is part of being human. Music affects our bodies and brains in ways that just require us to sit, listen, and enjoy. Music achieves many things. Music can increase dopamine levels which instantly improves mood. Emotional memory is tied to music and can trigger past feelings and emotions, almost as if you are being transported back in time. Music also affects breathing and heart rate. This is why we listen to music when we work out to push us past through that last burpee, or why we listen to music to fall asleep at night.
Music therapists bring the art of music to many people who have challenges regarding their physical, cognitive, and emotional health. Music is both completely abstract while being profoundly emotional. Using music as an intentional tool for the health and wellness of anyone can have great benefits, some of which were mentioned above. Here are some tips for using music for self-care:
The growing evidence that music can be used as a “self-guided intervention” supports the notion that a music therapist can give you the tools you need to give yourself a form of relief. The music therapists at Incadence are always willing and excited to help you with whatever musical therapies you need!
Listening to music with the intent of self-care, it is important to be especially mindful of both the negative and positive emotions that are elicited through different songs. Listening to music that you find joyful and often relate to can be helpful for you whereas listening to music that you don’t relate too or don’t feel good about can be harmful.
When you are feeling overwhelmed with daily tasks, music can help set intentions for certain tasks. Setting intentions with goals in mind makes you stop and think “why am I doing this?”. Music can help keep goals in the front of your mind when you get distracted by outside stimuli that prevents you from completing a task. Picking a song can avert your gaze and focus back to the task at hand. Using music for self-awareness, self-care, mood regulation, and stress alleviation can help in the self-care process. Taking care of yourself mentally should be top priority and listening to music can greatly assist with self-care. Self-care encourages a healthy relationship with yourself and the world around you. When you feel good about yourself, you are then able to transmit good feelings to others around you.