Listening to music does wonder to alleviate stress. Music has always been a great healer. Everyone has different tastes in music. Listen to the music that you feel comfortable. Music is a significant mood-changer and reliever of stress, working on many levels at once.
The following are general guidelines to maximize the effectiveness of the music.
- To wash away stress, try taking a 20-minute "sound bath." Put some relaxing music on your stereo, and then lie in a comfortable position on a couch or on the floor near the speakers. For a deeper experience, you can wear headphones to focus your attention and to avoid distraction.
- Prefer music with a slow rhythm. Music that has repeating or cyclical pattern is found to be effective in most people.
- As the music plays, allow it to wash over you, rinsing off the stress from the day. Focus on your breathing, letting it deepen, slow and become regular. Concentrate on the silence between the notes in the music; this keeps you from analyzing the music and makes relaxation more complete.
- Go for a faster music rather than slow calming music, if you need stimulation after a day of work.
- When going gets tough, go for a music you are familiar with - such as a childhood favorite or favorite oldies. Familiarity often breeds calmness.
- Take walks with your favorite music playing on the walkman. Inhale and exhale in tune with the music. Let the music takes you. This is a great stress reliever by combining exercise (brisk walk), imagery and music.
- Listening to the sounds of nature, such as ocean waves or the calm of a deep forest, can reduce stress. Try taking a 15- to 20-minute walk if you're near the seashore or a quiet patch of woods. If not, you can buy tapes of these sounds in many music stores.