Effective In Altering Perceptions Of The World: Music!

Effective In Altering Perceptions Of The World: Music!

Authored By Emily
For centuries, music has been assumed to have mood-boosting and therapeutic boosting advantages for us. Even sad music brings comfort and pleasure to some and negative feelings of profound grief in others according to recently done research. The results of such studies have helped researchers identify how people’s moods adjust with the aid of music and how they can use music therapy and music rehabilitation to access these processes of enjoyment, relief and comfort. This could be in addition to finding reasons for listening to sad music as well as avoiding it. Researchers have also found that listening to music that is especially sad or happy can give us a different perspective of the world. Mood and music are innately connected and scientists keep revealing the occurrence of these influences at a neural level. Research shows that a wide range of neurobiological systems are engaged by the music we listen to which affects our psychology. For a particular study, test subjects were asked to identify sad or happy smiley icons when listening to sad or happy music. What the subjects perceived was greatly affected by the music in that the subjects thought they recognized a sad smiley while listening to sad music and happy smiley while listening to happy music even when a neutral face without a smiley was shown. This was found to be especially interesting to the researchers involved in the study. Seeing things that are not there is caused by top-down processes in the brain on which conscious perception is highly dependent. The brain keeps comparing the information coming in through your eyes with its expectations of what you know about the world. The conclusive result of the aforementioned comparison process is what people experience as reality and research suggests that the brain tends to build up expectations based on your mood and experience. One study concluded that people tend to listen to sad music when going through a deep interpersonal loss such as a relationship coming to an end. This study’s authors suggested that sad music acted as a substitute for the lost relationship and they compared it to the desire most people have for an empathetic friend who truly understands what you are experiencing. Upbeat music has also been focused on by other research for its role in bringing joy. Another study established that people who listened to upbeat music could boost their happiness and improve their moods in just 2 weeks. The participants in the study were advised to try improving their mood but there were only positive results when they listened to upbeat music as opposed to sad music. A happier mood, of course, has been linked to benefits such as greater relationship satisfaction, higher income and most importantly, better physical health.

Music Therapy

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) has reported that music therapy programs have the ability to be designed to attain goals like relieving pain, enhancing memory and managing stress. There was a review in the Lancet, which established that patients who listened to music before surgery, during or after had less anxiety and pain as opposed to those who did not. They did not even require as much pain medication. You can switch up your mood, perception or mindset on demand by selecting music that draws out a particular emotional response in you. Music can be used as a tool when working out or even in your daily life in the same way. The feeling of finding the perfect song for a specific moment in time might be all too familiar. You can find songs through trial and error that touch a particular emotional chord and this music can be used to create an explanatory style or a targeted mindset. You can have specific songs that you listen to right before a big interview or before speaking in public to put you in the right frame of mind.  You could look at the songs in your playlist and ask yourself whether they give you a positive frame of mind, make you feel depressed or energized and what state of mind they put you in. Everyone has a different emotional response to music as not all people perceive happy songs as being uplifting and some people find depressing songs to be soothing and cathartic. Play around with different genres, artists and songs while keeping in mind that music is a very powerful tool that can be used to alter the brain’s perceptions at a neural level.


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