Music has been an integral part of our lives since the beginning of recorded history. It can help us clear our minds or concentrate, get our adrenaline going or relax, exercise or sleep. Our reactions to music may seem intuitive, almost subconscious. But there are strategies which can effectively use music as an aid to counteract increased levels of stress and anxiety, conditions which have become more common during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A technique called deep listening can help people cope with anxiety and stress. This term describes the act of actively focusing on auditory input being received. It is a popular technique used in yoga, meditation, music therapy, and other disciplines. These techniques often integrate deep listening as an aid in the learning process and as a filter for external sensory input when trying to clear their minds.
Yoga practitioners, for example, often use low-volume music and other sounds to help relax the students and encourage them to focus on the instructions given by the teacher. This is a practice known as interpersonal deep listening. Yoga also often employs intrapersonal deep listening, which describes the practice of filtering all outside auditory input and focusing on your own breathing and thoughts.
Music therapy uses deep listening in several ways. One of them is as a tool to help the subject deal with particular experiences or situations related to anxiety disorder. Deep listening has also helped cancer patients cope with pain and discomfort associated with chemotherapy.
But deep listening is not exclusive to the medical or esoteric fields. It can also be an effective way to help lower anxiety and stress by anyone who follows a few basic steps.
There are numerous types of music that are used for deep listening. Different compositions are chosen for lowering anxiety, mitigating stress, and quieting the mind. It helps to have a good music streaming service. Having one of these services on your cellphone or tablet might be a quick and effective way to tap into the benefits of deep listening. We’re living through some very stressful times–and stress, as we know, is a killer. Any technique that helps you reduce your anxieties and become more mindful and focused should be explored.
About author: José A. Sánchez Fournier is a writer with ConsumersAdvocate.org. Previously, he spent 15 years as a journalist with El Nuevo Día, the largest daily newspaper in Puerto Rico.