Though her name has mostly been built as a prominent ambient music artist, Diane Arkenstone is a multi-genre musician. She has created transcendent ambient songs, as well as trance, world, americana, Native American, and Celtic music.”
And how listening to it can improve your life.
Music is powerful. We’ve seen this throughout history when people have turned to music to create revolutionary change in society, but we also see this on a more personal level when we put on a playlist perfect for pumping us up at the gym.
If your life is busy and stressed, the last thing you might think to do is actively listen to music. You need to be doing all the things! But productivity increases when stress decreases.
Whether you find your peace in singing along to reduce tension, or letting your mind rest on a relaxing melody, music affects our moods and changes the tone of our day.
1. Lower Your Stress Levels
When you are too stressed out, people will tell you to calm down and take a deep breath. There is wisdom in this. Taking a deep breath helps you slow your breathing, brings more oxygen to your brain which makes you more present in the real world which helps pull you from your anxious thoughts.
Calming music naturally reduces your heart rate, slows your breathing, and eases muscle tension. You’re one good song away from a less stressful life. It doesn’t change your circumstances, but it changes your mindset, which is where yourtrue power lies. You can’t control everything, but you can control your thoughts.
A stress relieving song tip…
While some people need lyrics and something to sing along to, others need music without lyrics. Diane Arkenstone’s song “Transformation”, from the album “The Healing Spirit”, is nearly seven minutes long. No lyrics, slow beats, and a relaxing melody that again keeps the mind active and engaged but still soothed. It’s easy to imagine your mind relaxing on the waves of music and being carried away, as if you can surrender control of your thoughts to the sounds. Take seven minutes to let your mind calm down and see how your day changes.
2. Reduces Our Perception of Pain
There are many physical ailments in life we don’t yet have many ways to cure. Fibromyalgia, for example, is a painful illness that leaves its sufferers with few tools for relief. There are many medications the doctors can offer you after surgery, but there are still healing pains we all have to endure. The only thing left to ease these aches is the power of our mind. Our brains perceive our pain. Reducing our mind’s focus on that can ease it.
Relaxing music has been scientifically shown to produce endorphins, strengthen our immune system, and lessen our perception of the body’s pains.
3. Calms Your Heart Rate
As mentioned above, music can lower your heart rate. It can also lower your blood pressure, your breathing becomes more steady, and you experience fewer arrhythmias. Music made with love is not only good for your emotional heart and soul, but your body as well.
4. Sleep Better More Consistently
As your body and mind react to the music, you calm down and pick up on the tones of sleep. You start to mimic a sleep state. When you make listening to songs a part of your nightly routine, you train your body to enter this sleep state faster, reducing the amount of time you spend tossing and turning and increasing the number of hours you sleep. Not only that, but your sleep is less restless.
5. Reach Your Optimal Mental State for Productivity
It seems counterintuitive that an activity that can help you sleep can also help you be more productive, but it’s true. Remember: productivity increases when stress decreases.
Our brains love music. They become more attentive. When they start paying attention to a soothing melody, they engage with the world instead of becoming consumed with running through worries and distracting thoughts that pop into our minds. We become more focused on the activity at hand.
Music to be mindful of…
Time for another song tip! Diane Arkenstone’s song, “Voice of the Sea” has the slow beats perfect for relaxing. At the same time, the melody changes often throughout the song, keeping the mind engaged and present. While many of her songs have been compared to the popular music of Enya, “Voice of the Sea” is probably one of the strongest for comparison. If you prefer to awaken your mind with something a bit easier to dance to, still nature-inspired, with some beautiful guitar woven in, try “Rhythm of the Forest”. You can find both of these songs on her album “The Best of Diane Arkenstone”.
6. Ease The Mind’s Journey For Meditation
Have you found it difficult to learn to meditate? Are you trying to pay attention in yoga, but actually thinking about your grocery list?
You are not the only one. It’s not all about sitting still and having no thoughts in your mind at all, it’s about better controlling your mind and being present in the moment. Music can help ease the mind into this state.
Give yourself a quiet space. Put on a calming song, it often helps to play one song on repeat. It can take some practice, but just like with sleep, by repeating some of the same circumstances you can get your mind to align with your intentions.
7. A More Attentive Mind for Studying
When we’re more mindful, our cognitive processes are optimized for taking in new information. Again, like sleep or meditation, listening to the same songs whenever you perform this activity can help your mind get where you need it to be faster. A good, balanced, lively piece of music can help your brain focus and the facts stick in your memory. Try listening to the song you chose for studying right before you head into class for the test to help get your thoughts on the right track.
How do you use songs to improve your life?
The list above of seven techniques for using the power of music to change your day are just a few of the ways humans have utilized music throughout history. How do you use music to improve your life? What tips do you have for turning on the right song at the right moment to get your mind in tune with the situation at hand?