We all love music and studies have actually found that listening to music can release dopamine in the brain. We all know the feeling that you get when you listen to a song that you absolutely love, whether it’s one that pumps you up or calms you down. So, just simply listening to music already seems like a positive step towards happiness.
I think we’re all familiar with that tendency to listen to a certain song and imagine that you’re in a movie or some other dramatic scenario. Come on, don’t lie - we definitely all do it sometimes (cue people walking melodramatically down the street and looking mock-mournfully out of train windows with headphones in). With that in mind, think about the amount of time we often spend after an event has happened or something has gone wrong thinking about all of the quick come-backs you could’ve said or re-imagining how much better you could have acted if you’d been calmer or better prepared.
If we combine that feeling of calm or strength from listening to the music that we love with our tendency to imagine scenarios whilst doing so maybe we could make something really beneficial, something to aid us before rather than console us after.
Photo credit: Hannah Franklin
Imagine that you’ve got a meeting or event coming up that you’re really nervous about. Now consider listening to the music that you love and imagining a perfect version of that scenario in your head. Imagine how confident you’d feel, how calm you’d be. Immerse yourself in feeling completely comfortable with that situation, perhaps even practising what you might say. Keep doing this and you’ll find yourself practicing assertiveness in your imagination.
You can imagine how you might respond to certain responses and eventualities, giving yourself the time to imagine the ideal way to cope with a situation and all the while combining it with the positive emotions that your music creates. Practicing in this way could help you to re-associate your view of an upcoming event with positive emotions and calm reactions. You could even play that song on the way to the event to help re-immerse you in the same assertive mood.
Using music in this way helps put our dramatic flair to some good use and aids wellbeing by creating a more positive and confident outlook.
About the author:
Hannah Franklin is a recent English graduate who has her own lifestyle and wellbeing blog 'Breath, think, live'. Check it out here!