10 Ways In Which Music Therapy Can Heal Your Life

 

By Anjali Maini, freelance contributor 

 

“Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There’s not some trick involved with it. It is pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things”- Tom Petty

Music therapy is an established psychological clinical intervention, which is delivered by trained therapist to help people suffering from psychological,emotional, physical and cognitive issues. Here are 10 ways in which music therapy can heal your life:

 

1. Stress buster

The Chances are that at some point in life you have experienced work or academic stress. The soothing effect of music has the power to heal any kind of stress. Music therapy improves your mood, vitality, self-esteem and personality. In turn these improvements lead to stress reduction. Music therapy promotes relaxation of tense muscles, enabling you to easily release some of the tension you carry from stressful events which in turn enables your mind to relax.

 

2. Enhances work performance

It has been observed that interns and employees in the corporate world work really hard. But sometimes hard work doesn’t pay back. If it’s happening with you then it’s a good option to take a music therapy session. Various researches have proved that music therapy sessions at workplace can increase your dedication towards work and in turn facilitate your performance.

 

3. Concentration Booster

Listening to music stimulates the brain and the body mind connection and reactivates brain, prompt memory and improves concentration. According to a study published in August 2007, by Stanford University “Music engages with those areas of brain which are responsible for concentration, prediction and updating events in the brain.

 

4. Give Birth To A Creative And Intellectual Mind

Music therapy itself is a creative tactic of healing your mind, body and soul. Thus it effortlessly gives birth to innovative brain functioning. Music could also make us enter into a “wandering” mode. this wandering mode enables us to daydream or imagine things, which stimulates our creative side. Moreover music therapy may also help one to increase their intellectual power as some researches have shown that it increases our brain plasticity.

 

5. Pumps Down High Levels Of Aggression

Music therapy brings a kind of peace in your mind and body that can pacify both of them. It directs your energy in a positive direction and thus lower high levels of aggression. In today’s world where anger management is a huge problem, music therapy can play a remedial role. People who suffer with high aggression issues can adopt this therapy.

 

6. Remedy For Emotional Pain

Music therapy can heal inner sufferings of the soul without having to actually talk them through. Even a few sessions of music therapy can lower the symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. Various researches and case studies have proved that music therapy helps patients suffering from depression and anxiety to recover fast. Music therapy helps patients suffering from depression and anxiety by lowering their emotional and psychological stress levels and and their need to use drugs. It increases their self acceptance and self awareness behaviors .

 

7.Influence the self-confidence and self esteem

Music therapy is very effective with teens facing low confidence and low self-esteem issues. Music plays an important role in defining a teenager’s world. It helps to improve communication and interaction skills which in turn aid to boost self-confidence and self-esteem. It also helps an individual to pump up their cognitive abilities which in turn helps an individual to communicate and express their knowledge in a better way.

 

8.Releases Physical Strain

Music therapy enhances comfort and manages pain for people of all ages, genders and races. It works in different ways. Music therapy aids patients undergoing chemotherapy, dialysis and brain disabilities such as Parkinson’s disease to release their physical stress and boosts their recovery rate as the vibes and sounds instruments in music therapy release muscles strain,improves blood circulation and
maintains blood pressure.

 

9. Precious Skill Of Child Development

From birth, parents instinctively use music to calm and soothe children, to express their love and joy and to engage and interact. Music experiences at childhood can actually accelerate brain development, particularly in areas of language acquisition and reading skills. Moreover music therapy is very beneficial for children suffering from motor dysfunction. It can gradually improve their motor activity as instrumental tunes and drum beating in music therapy session can stimulate neurons and fine motor parts of kids. Further music therapy is a boon for kids suffering with autism spectrum disorder as the interventions can help to reduce undesired behaviors and increase more appropriate responses in kids.
10. Insomnia

Say no to sleeping pills and shake hand with a music therapist! Yes, music therapy cures insomnia. Music therapy improves sleep quality and duration and as well as reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. It also lessens sleep disturbances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 Ways to stop overthinking

By Kritika Joshi, Freelance Contributor 

 

“To think too much is a disease.”
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

What is holding people back from the life they truly want to live and enjoy? That one very common and destructive thing is that they think too much. Overthinking is equally deliberate as it is common. Here are 8 ways to stop overthinking-

Notice when you are overthinking-

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Before you understand how to cope with your habit of overthinking, you need to learn to be aware of when it is
happening. Awareness is the seed of the change you want to make. Once you notice that you are overthinking you can stop yourself from getting lost in the thought.

Keep yourself busy-

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One main reason you overthink is that you have the time to do so. Keep yourself busy. Be active throughout the day and tire your body out, so that you have no time left for the over analysis. Not one day can be fruitful if more time than necessary is allowed for aimless thinking.

Change your mind-

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Distract yourself into happiness once you feel that you are falling prey to overthinking. Sometimes it is helpful to have a way to distract yourself with happy, positive, healthy alternatives. Things like meditation, dancing, exercise, learning an instrument, drawing, painting can distance you from the issues enough to shut down the over analysis.

Sleep-

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Sleeping is like pressing the reboot button on your mind. When you haven’t slept you become more vulnerable to overthinking. Get plenty of good quality sleep. Sleeping leads to a fresh mind which disrupts the complex web of overthinking. Listening to some good music may help to get a good sleep.

Practice mindfulness-

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It is an activity where one focuses on the present moment without judgement. As the obsessive, worrying thoughts come in; you acknowledge them and then let them go, energetically release them clearing your space. One of the biggest struggle is the ability to live in the present moment. Control what you think.

Use positive daily affirmations for anxiety-

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Affirmations are statements that help you overcome negative thoughts. Some good affirmations for anxiety are- “I have the power to decide what I will think about. My thoughts do not control me”; “I refuse to allow my imagination to show me disastrous future.” Use these affirmations daily to stop negative thoughts of overthinking.

List your thoughts down-

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Make a list of things that are troubling you down. Keep a diary of things that are troubling you. Jot down all the things on your mind every day. Go over what you have written; try to deal with the thoughts yourself. Ask for advice if you are finding it difficult to deal with things by yourself. Ask for advice if needed.

Realise that no good can be achieved by overthinking-

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Overthinking may lead to excessive worrying, anxiety, panic, fatigue, inability to concentrate, muscle tension, digestive disorders etc. There are more cons of overthinking than its pros. Overthinking leads to no good and may lead to severe health issues. Nothing can be achieved by overthinking. You cannot predict the future, and thus should not waste your efforts on stressing about things.

7 non-clichéd ways to therapeutically meditate

Komal Sharma, Freelance Contributor 

”Meditation is great, but I don’t know where to start/ but it isn’t going forward/but I don’t understand it”
The rationale behind this article is to understand that the process of meditation can never be put across in hard lines. It is happening, right now, as I type, fully aware of my being and senses. I hope these tenets will guide you to curate your own method, instead of following one of the gazillion techniques which you’d probably end up sacrificing third day into practice; because meditation, like love, is a personal experience.

1. Sensation
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Do you love it when someone smoothly runs their finger on your arm? Does the soft caress of grass against your feet melts you? Does warm water give your body an immense therapeutic satisfaction?
Sure it feels good, but how can you use it? – By feeling each drop of water interacting with the cell in your body. By sensing each grass strand tickle and tingle your skin. Let yourself be free to thoroughly travel through your sensations, lose the track of time and, just, let yourself be.

2. Singing Bowl :
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Every bowl speaks to you a different song. How willing are you to listen?
Each bowl has its own personality; you know it when you ‘choose’ yours. From its appearance, to its size and rhythm that’s produced, each aspect will pull correct chords within you. Delving in music you produce will help you connect your frequency to it, and you will experience a convergence and expansion of your energy.

3. Catching a tone in music:
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Love listening to music?
From classical to EDM – Catch the sound of any instrument you like (flute/drums); mentally focus on it (but DO NOT STRESS). Keep the process as easy as you can. If you’re able to focus from 3-minutes at a stretch consistently, it means you have mastered the art. Now you’d not only have great taste in music but also an extended attention span and focus.

4. Trataka yoga
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Don’t like shutting your eyes close? Ever caught yourself looking blankly across the room and found it so relaxing that you lost yourself in it? Then this practice is absolutely for you. FOCUS. Gaze internally (on an object you might imagine) or externally (at moon, or flower). Initially, it will be strenuous to keep staring mindfully at an imagined or physical object. With practice,though, you’ll find it immensely liberating.

5. Mandala:
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Got a hand of an artist or not, this is a proven way to meditate. Get yourself a compass and colors. It is said that the Mandala that you draw is the state of your mind. Eventually you will be drawing more vibrant and lovely Mandalas. Also, you can get yourself a Mandala book and just color it. Drawing Mandala or just doodling is a way to bring your meta-feeling in physical existence. Worth a try, isn’t it?

6. Thoughtlessness
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The key here is not to aim to be thoughtless. Yogis focus on the Chakra located at the center of your crown. Gradually with due practice, you observe your physical body as a third being’s consciousness. With years of practice, one can switch their thoughts on and off as and when required. You save yourself from the thoughts that potentially can cause harm.

7. Movement meditation
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I know many people who have excruciating time sitting plain idle. Your actions will lead you as you pay vivid attention to them and let it scintillate your imagination. The way your hands touch cold and warm objects and the sound of crushing leaves under your feet. The feeling of wind gently passing through your hair and the heavy sigh you take after a long hike. You can go around places and still have the calm within you; one may call it ‘wandering peace’.

If you have gone through all the ways mentioned above- you’d have realized that it is not about which way is better, it is about the way which is closest of your style-of-being.

 

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10 indications that you’re overthinking stuff

Shivangi Srivastava, Freelance Contributor

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Do things keep playing in your head on repeat mode?
Are you always trying to crack some secret code?
Does your sleep ditch you at night?
Are you constantly worrying about your future?

To think about things or situations in life is necessary but when ‘thinking’ goes overboard, that’s when we start facing problems in life. Over-thinking is a state of constant worrying, where our mind starts to work extra hard, unnecessarily.
Here are 10 indications that will help you understand if you’re over thinking it:

1) You’re hesitant when it comes to giving a voice to your opinions.

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You may find it very difficult to share your thoughts and opinions regarding a certain topic or situation because you fear that people will JUDGE you for how you think and for the kind of choices you’ve made or are currently making in life.

2) All the possibilities are only assessed as either ‘BAD’ or ‘WORSE’.

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For you, ‘WORST-CASE SCENARIOS’ are the only possible scenarios. You may find yourself focusing too much on all the things that can possibly go wrong. Good outcomes are just a matter of luck for you. Also, you tend to be over critical about yourself. People who overthink rarely are able to see their own positive sides because they’re too busy evaluating themselves on their negatives.

3) It seems as if the whole world is conspiring against you.

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You may feel as if people around you observe all the things that you do and judge you for it. It may seem as if everybody around you is talking about you, is criticizing your actions and has formed strong opinions AGAINST you.

4) You believe that one must know ‘EVERYTHING’ in order to understand you.

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You try to include all the possible details while telling somebody about anything. In your opinion, missing out on any piece of information would mean that the message was not conveyed exactly how you wanted it to be and now people won’t understand you and may form negative opinions about you.

5) Creative skills are mostly used in decoding ‘HIDDEN’ messages which may not exist at all.

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Being an over-thinker, it is possible for you to consume your energy in looking for underlying meanings for every word that you hear. You may find yourself constantly worrying if somebody’s motive was to indirectly tell or indicate something to you while conversing with you.

6) You cross-check the messages you’re about to send multiple times.

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It takes you a lot of time to send a message to somebody. You keep going through the messages, again and again, deleting or editing its content. You have the notion of sending an error-free or so-called ‘perfect message’ so that the person on the receiving end does not take you for a dumb individual.

7) Maladaptive daydreaming
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As an over thinker, you experience frequent and intrusive daydreams that can disrupt your everyday tasks and quality of life. Certain situations are often stuck in repeat mode inside your head or you start imagining things that have no end to them and eventually find it very difficult to come to reality and do your daily tasks.

8) You take ‘LITTLE’ things very ‘SERIOUSLY’.
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While having a conversation with somebody, you may find yourself taking little things very seriously. There may be times when people are just talking or discussing things on a very general level but you might take things personally and feel disturbed. It sometimes gets a little difficult to convince you that everything’s okay because you usually want every piece of information to make up your mind.

9) Your behaviour and actions are mostly based on your ‘ASSUMPTIONS’.
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The term ‘over-thinking’ itself suggests thinking more than required; thinking more than there is to think actually. Over-thinkers usually pre-assume a lot of things (basically, jumping to conclusions) and later are found constantly worrying about things that may or may not exist. This eventually leads them to behave oddly around people.

10) Anxiety knocks and blows good night’s sleep away.
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Overthinking often generates anxiety and results in panic attacks. This anxiety holds you back and disrupts your normal functioning. Messing up one thing might mean messing up the entire thing, in your opinion. You keep ruminating about it and thus, face trouble sleeping.

 

 

 

 

7 most common negative thought patterns and how to handle them

by Avnie Garg, Freelance Contributor

All of us in life go through failures, doubts, criticisms which make us think negatively. These thought patterns can prove to be dangerous for our mental health and eventually may negatively affect our personal and social life. It is important to realize your negative thought patterns to live a peaceful and happy life. Following are some examples that you may like to go through:-

  1. Only bad things happen to me:

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Many of us generalize the life events and think that this is how things have happened till now and this is how they will continue to be. We start pitying ourselves and create the thought that things might never get better.
How to handle: realize that you may be only considering negative aspects of all that happens to you. Try some gratitude exercises which will help you to thank all the good things in life.

2. What if this happens? :

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We may overthink many trivial things which do not even require our attention. We tend to think the most extreme consequence of a particular situation that we are going through in life. This muddles our thought process and we end up taking undue stress.
How to handle: realize that this is doing you a lot of harm. Train yourself to ‘go-with-the-flow’. Engage in useful stuff that prevents you from overthinking.

3. “What could have been”:

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Some people contemplate a lot about what could their lives have been, had a particular thing not happened. They delve into the past just too much. This keeps bad memories intact and creates emotional and professional problems.
How to handle: ask yourself if your thoughts are really true! You may think that other alternative in life would have been better but you are ignoring the cons related with it. Try being happy in the present and work hard for things to happen your way from now on.

4. I can’t do it :

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Questioning one’s abilities creates feelings of self-doubt. We start losing faith in ourselves. This thought is a big obstacle in achieving success in life.
How to handle: practice self- compassion. Be kind to yourself and think instead of your accomplishments. Find out what you are good at and hone your skills in that area.

5.’must/should’ statements:

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“Everyone should love me”, “I must be present there” etc. are some of the unrealistic thoughts we create in our mind. It is essential to refrain from such thoughts. It affects the way you think about yourself and the world.
How to handle: flexibility rules the world, rigidity does not. Counter question yourself next time you think of such statements. For instance, “why should everyone love me?” tell yourself that you loving yourself after all is the most important thing.

6.All-or-none thinking:

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It happens when you think at the extreme ends. Example- “there is nothing good about my job” or “Leela is worst person I’ve come across in life”. So you think no in-between. It is also called black and white thinking.
How to handle: try thinking the pros and cons of everyone and everything you get extreme thoughts about. This will help you to balance your viewpoint. And take some time before you make judgments about others.

7.I’m so unlucky:

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This thought may be the outcome of the people around you (your mom tells she has been unwell since she gave birth to you) or you might have created them in your head(I’ve never won a lottery in my life). Incidents taking place now and then reinforce this thought.
How to handle: realize that luck is just a probability. Try affirmations like “I am fortunate to have a so and so thing”, “I am really lucky for myself”.

The most important thing is to firstly identify your negative thoughts, know that they are not permanent and then distort them one by one. You can also write them down on a piece of paper and destroy the paper after that. This can help relieve you!