Sunday, July 9, 2017

Emotional Wellness

Filed under Wellness

Emotional WellnessWellness is paying attention to our feelings, and having appropriate coping skills in place. It is being able to accurately identify emotions, experience emotions without judgment, express emotions without harming ourselves or others, and coping with emotions that may cause us distress in adaptive ways. Music directly affects emotions because of the close neural connections between the auditory cortex and the amygdala, hippocampus, and temporal and parietal lobes of the brain. Music also has strong associative properties to events in our lives, so music can bring up memories that we associate to a particular song.

Here are some tips for using music to develop or maintain your emotional wellness:

1. Listen to your favorite songs, artists, or groups. Notice what memories come up for you and how you feel as you listen. Identify an emotion that you associate with each song. Plus, you’re being nice to yourself by listening to music that you like!

2. Match music to your mood. When you feel sad or angry or lonely or [insert any mood here], listen to a song that matches the way you feel. Music is powerful because it can reflect our feelings and validate our emotions. We don’t feel so isolated because someone else (the composer or songwriter) feels the same way that we do. Allowing yourself to “wallow” in your current emotion can help you to be ready to release that emotion. And music can provide a time-limit for the “wallowing” so that you aren’t stuck there.

3. Change the music to the mood that you want to experience. Music not only validates our current emotions, but it can also change how we feel. After listening to the music that matches your emotion, listen to a song that feels neutral or soothing to you. Then, choose a song that expresses the emotion you’d prefer to feel. After listening to just 3 songs, you can change your mood!

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