The idea that music can contribute to your happiness is something we probably all know intuitively. There are studies out now that conclusively prove the co-relation between listening to music and happiness which in turn contributes to much better health, especially in relation to cardio-vascular health.
I caught a news report on TV about these studies just now and decided it was a great time to bring this forward in our quest for happiness. It seems that studies show that listening to music relaxes stress and opens arteries and the like. That has the effect of reducing the impacts of negative stress. It has the effect of taking us out of ourselves and our immediate worries. It helps us to allow our subconscious to promote within us the reality that where we are right now is not permanent and all pervasive (concepts that lead us to depression often). Endorphins and that sort of thing get generated and released into our system when we listen to music.
So, … what sort of music should we listen to? Do we need to listen to classical music to get the best effects? What if we really like to listen to rock music, will that work or does it lead us to be more stressed because of the upbeat tempo? Interestingly, the studies have shown that it does not really matter that much what music we listen to as long as for us it is music that makes us feel great. If Brahms makes you feel great, listen to it (if it makes you feel bored or restless or fidgety, don’t listen to it for relaxation and diversion). If head-banging music makes you feel great, go for it! Music, apparently is like art. The beauty is in the ear of the beholder.
I will add a personal caution that just makes sense though. Always keep in mind that what we are putting into ourselves is what will come out in time of stress and challenge. If we are filling ourselves with messages of hate or violence, that is what becomes our response to situations and it will certainly not lead to happiness. Violent Rap music is weakening. Uplifting and positive Rap music is strengthening. Yes the words are important. Pay attention and listen to uplifting music and songs.
Another thing that just makes good sense to me is that the music you listen to will have an impact on your mood and relaxation levels. If you are going to be retiring to bed soon and you are listening to heavy duty rock and roll, you will likely be a bit wound up with enthusiasm and be less able to get to sleep. Rather, as you get ready to think about going to sleep, and you want to listen to some music (or even read or watch a TV show) think about making choices that will calm the spirit and put you in a better frame of mind to drift into a restorative and deep sleep. More about getting ready to sleep another time.
Music is great. Don’t inflict your choices on others unless it is desired by the others. Keep the volume within reason so you do not damage your hearing (watch the volume on your personal headphones and ear-buds!). But, by all means, plug in and listen to more music. Whatever kind you enjoy and makes you feel great and/or relaxed.
This is a question that you need to get firmly in your mind. Without a clear picture of what Happiness means for you, you will never be able to enjoy happiness as a way of life.
My “Concise Oxford Dictionary” defines happy as “… contented with one’s lot; …”. That comes close to how I define it for myself. Happiness for me is essentially a warm feeling of peace and contentment. A smile is not far from the surface. Happiness allows me to be able to see the wonder and joys that are all around us all the time. I feel enthusiastic about most things. I love to think about how things interrelate. Happiness is a sense of wonder in all things.
I will be going into this much more later on but it is key to start thinking about this as early as possible. So, what does it mean to you to be happy? What is your definition of happiness? Share it with us. When you write it down, it solidifies things in your mind so you can better understand right away what may be getting in the way of your happiness.
I don’t want to miss capturing and relating this great anecdotal illustration of what it means to take action!
An older gentleman was walking along a beach at low tide and noticed a young boy bending over and picking up a starfish that had been stranded when the tide went out. The boy stood up and threw the starfish as far as he could out into the water, thus giving it a great chance for survival. The gentleman looked around and saw a huge number of starfish on the beach that stretched for miles. He said to the little boy, who was bending to pick up another starfish, “What are you doing? There are so many starfish, you can’t make a difference along this beach.” The little boy looked at the gentleman, turned and threw the starfish with all his might into the water, turned back and said, “Made a difference for that one.”
It is not the big things that we plan to do and get others to support that make the huge difference, although that is important. It is actually acting whenever you see the opportunity presenting itself. Acting in congruence with your world view and life’s mission always brings peace and feelings of contribution. Don’t forget to act locally.
I heard yesterday that Senator Edward Kennedy has been going to a school every week for years, out of the limelight and with no press awareness, to read to a child for an hour or so. He found time to do this “little thing” while still always acting hugely on the world stage. It was not for “credit” but rather it was done because he recognised it as a worthwhile thing to do to help at a very local level.
Make a difference when you can, no mater how large the whole task seems. Every little bit helps!
I intend to work to help those who would like some assistance to develop skills and strategies to build levels of happiness. It is my strong feeling that if we have a world of people who are actively concentrating on being happier, we will reduce conflict, tensions will ease and we can have a world of people contributing to peace, contentment, order and great good will to others. Can one person make a difference? Absolutely. It all starts with one person DOING something.
I will be using this sort of blog to be apart of getting ideas out for discussion and development. I know there will be skeptics but the real contributors will have a similar wish for the world. The skeptics will be welcome for the ride but we will not allow negatives to pull us down. Not sure yet how that will be managed but it will unfold as it must.
I will be doing some video blogs as well. I want to try the whole range of means to get this out there. I know there are lots of professionals who are way out there in this field. They are big and many have become wrapped up in the business side. I will want to bring the everyday approach tot his and make it much more accessible to everyone who has access to a computer. Of course there will be monetization but that is one of the ways to register that you are providing what is needed and wanted and understood. Courses, training, coaching and the like will be available. However, there will be lots of great information and guidance and advice in the free areas that it will not get in the way at all if you choose not to purchase anything at all.
I will be trying to develop the approach with you. Will you help? I hope you will. Simple negative comments are not of much use. Rather, if you have a helpful suggestion or comment to make, please make it. If you want to ask questions or for some other line of information in this blog, just leave a comment. I will be reviewing them all and will act when I can and when it makes senses to me.
Postings will likely be about two or three per week. Hope you will join me for the discussions about how we can contribute to a world of people in supportive and inclusive realization of greater happiness.
I don’t have the ability to post the video but if you can see it, it will inspire you greatly. You can see it at my facebook page or you can search for it on You Tube I think. Check out my Facebook page to view the video.