There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music. (T. S. Eliot)
Making time to listen to the music that we love is a great way to restore our mood and nourish our soul. Whether our body vibrates to the beat of Caribbean calypso or the lull of classical piano, listening to the music that we love is one of the quickest ways to tap into our inner happiness reserves. When we feel happy, we are more confident and resilient, meaning we are better equipped to deal with the trials and tribulations that the day may bring.
It is a great idea to develop a mental playlist of the songs or pieces we find most enjoyable, comforting or empowering, and to label them so in our mind. This way, when we find ourselves in challenging or unpleasant situations, we can tune into our playlist for strength and support. Even when we can’t get to a real recording of our playlist – perhaps we’re at work, trying to handle negative or obnoxious people – we can secretly press the play button in our mind, allowing the positive feelings associated with good experiences to flood our body. This can help us to put the present situation into perspective and to regain control, restoring our personal equilibrium. And the best thing about reliving our favourite tunes through our auditory memory is that nobody will ever know we’re doing it!
When we listen to music that is associated with good experiences, we reawaken those positive feelings that are stored up in our episodic memory. Like photographs, music is an excellent key to unlocking the door to all our best emotions. It is a powerful resource that we can tap into – any time, any place – in order to defend ourselves against the negative influences of those around us. This enables us to replenish our reserves and to restore the balance and harmony in our day. Starting the day with a song – whether it’s singing in the shower or listening to the radio – is also a great way to establish a positive mood for the day. When we are smiling inside, it is easier to let the subsequent water of others’ bad moods to run off our backs like the proverbial duck!