When music hits you and you feel no pain, isn't that the best feeling? Music is everywhere, whether we want it to be or not. Don't you want to achieve that blissful feeling everywhere you hear it? I know, I do.
Mindfulness is described as being self-aware during any given, present moment while music is described as written signs that translate to 'vocal or instrumental' sounds. My goal is to practice being mindful whenever hearing these different sounds and instruments.
The first step is being conscious of when I hear music and the second step is taking note of my thoughts during those moments. How do I feel when I hear…the trumpet? The trumpet with the piano? The tempo and volume? So many details, I never payed mind to, came forefront.
This Is What I Learned:
Music surpasses all restrictions within individual minds', bodies' and souls' within our structured societies. It is a sense of freedom that exits the box we are taught to stay in. It gives me the freedom to be anyone, with any genre, any mood, and any lyric—what journey do I want to experience next? I gained perspective of how genres can be so different, yet so similar; just like people. Music passes us by like each of us hustling down the streets on a busy morning.
It is one aspect of our existence that allows self-growth; an opportunity to be aware of our mental health. It is the shining light on our personal experiences without having to acknowledge the specifics of them. Some lyrics will express a feeling so much more clearly than you knew possible. Other times it is a beat that I hear in my head, no matter where I am. It makes me understand that in times of anxiety I want to hear meaningful lyrics; stories of how people handle tough life obstacles. When I am with friends, I become adaptable in my choices of music because my priority becomes having the best possible experience with the people I am with. If music is stimulating them in a way that benefits the overall experience, then my personal preference doesn't matter anymore. This awareness has made me more honest to myself and more empathetic towards individuals. I am curious to know more about their personal choices and preferences. How do sounds stimulate you versus how I perceive it?
In times of transition (ex/travelling via car, train, bus, plane) I prefer up beat music like Soca or Pop music because of how it livens up my personality. It gives me confidence to not be scared to ask questions and/or talk to people around me. Whether music is reflective of my current life or not, it somehow applies to every relationship or experience I have ever had. That being said, listen to your gut. The creators of the music we connect to have been through the same predicaments as us. We can heal our own dilemmas, learning through them. Failing to acknowledge your experience can lead to actions outside of your own consciousness.
When we fail to pay attention to ourselves things can turn negative, we may hear an artist talk about their experience with drugs and want to follow them; however, is that truly the experience your mind, body and/or soul is craving or does such reflection of the artists experience make you feel like spending time with your friends and family? Although the topics and experiences are vastly different does not mean they do not relate.
When listening to music that stimulates you, being aware of the emotions that come to the forefront of your mind will help you better understand your own consciousness. What may be a happy relation for one, may make you sad as it reminds you of a particular experience that is unique to you. It is important to appreciate the differences that present themselves in the passing moments we spend absorbing music. It helps to build your preferences and overall identity, teaching us so much about who we are as people and what we want to represent.
They say music can alter moods and talk to you, making it worthwhile to be mindful of how certain sounds and words impact your actions. Words can be great or they can degrade, or even worse, they can teach hate. Listen to and understand your personal experiences and don’t follow a reflection of self that simply is not who you are. Mindfulness & Music.