When you are listening to music, are you often focusing on other activities, and letting the sounds fade to the background? While music is great for creating an environment, listening to it actively and mindfully has many benefits, and can bring you a lot of joy.
The principle of mindfulness involves centering all of your attention on the task at hand, whatever it may be. It instructs us in the awareness of all of the subtleties that the activity entails. In the case of music, dedicating your full focus to the different layers of sound, subtle changes in rhythm, various elevations of pitch and the movement of the instruments and voices can:
Allow you to truly experience the music you love. We all have our favorite recording artists and songs, but in the swarm of everyday life, how often do we get to truly sit down and re-live what made us fall in love with these songs in the first place?
Mindful listening can give you a deeper appreciation of the music you already love, and even bring back those feelings of excitement or relaxation that you had when you first heard it. You may also hear things in the music that you never heard before, such as how the different harmonies intertwine to make the sound that pleases your ears.
Open the door to new artists and musical styles. If you take time to really explore your favorite songs, you will be better able to pinpoint exactly what you like about them. It can greatly help in the search for new music if you know what it is you are looking for.
Many people tend to get stuck in a musical rut; they do not seek out new sounds because they do not quite know what to look for. If you know what sound really makes you tick, for example a certain drumming style, doing an Internet search for similar music is much simpler.
Relieve stress and anxiety. Doing any activity mindfully, even an everyday chore such as washing the dishes, can help center you in the present moment, and allow your worries to melt away.
Listening to music mindfully, especially music that you love, can have an even greater effect on alleviating stress, anxiety, depression or whatever is ailing you. There is healing power in the interplay of melody, harmony and rhythm, and you will certainly get more healing benefits if you give it your full attention.
Your favorite music says a lot about who you are. If you take the time to listen mindfully, you may find that you learn a lot about yourself – perhaps things that you had forgotten, or altogether new discoveries. This can lead to a greater sense of self, and greater overall well-being.
If you have had a long day and can spare five minutes for one song, focus your mind entirely on that song and where it takes you, and you can transform your listening experience into a meditative experience.
-The Alternative Daily