Music is intertwined with mood, and scientific studies continue to reveal how the changes happen in the nerves. Research has shown that when we listen to songs, our neurobiological system, and in turn, our psychology is greatly influenced. The latest of them is the study by a student and a researcher from Netherland’s University of Groningen, and the result shows that our perception and style is dramatically affected by music. It’s why certain tracks will get you so fired up to win, you’ll feel like you can conquer that 5k run in record time, even win at new Nektan casinos or on the lottery.
How music could be used to bring changes in behaviour and mindset
The study by Meurs and Jolij was focused on the subjects fishing out sad and happy icons while they were listening to sad and happy music. At the end, it was discovered that what these people experienced were greatly influenced by the music. Going further, most of the subjects agreed that they seemed to recognize a sad smiley while on sad music and a happy one while on happy music, even when they are presented with a face with no smiley at all.
In the words of Jacob Jolij, this is a very interesting discovery, because it’s the top-down brain process that makes the subjects see things that are not even present. For him, it is upon this top-down process that real time perception is built on. With the information you have about the world already, your brain makes a comparison against the information that comes into you through the eyes. At the end of the day, what the brain presents as the result of the process of comparison becomes reality to us. It was found out that expectations are formed in our brains not just based on our experiences, but also as a result of our moods.
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With music that spurs a particular emotional response, one can trigger a certain type of perception, mindset or mood. To create a level of motivation and winning state of mind as an athlete, I had to employ a mindset that allows me to give the best with some very effective songs. One thing that was obvious is that while I was practicing for races, even when I had physical difficulties and even in bad weather conditions, I found a way to come up with an alternative mental atmosphere of perfect reality through music. I keep myself motivated by using music to stay afloat during the races by closing my mind to all the obstacles facing me. While you navigate through your daily life or while you are working out, music could be very important in keeping you going.
It feels so good to have the right music at the right time. You can keep trying various songs until you come across the type that helps you build the needed mindset or that offers you a way to understand things that happen around you. Ask yourself if the song makes you see things from a different perspective, whether it keeps you upbeat or downcast, and the mental state you desire at the moment. Think, before going out there to meet with the press, there is a particular song that I listen to; before I get on the podium to deliver a speech, there is a song I must enjoy, and so on. They are all used to put you in the right mental state.
It should also be noted that we have different emotional responses to different types of music. Not all songs that are tagged happy can help lift everybody’s mood and get them motivated. In the words of Joni Mitchell, melancholy could be comforting sometimes, and depressing songs may offer some soothing and cathartic effects.
To come up with the best, you have to document the effects of particular songs on your perception and mood. To achieve this, you have to experiment with a lot of genres, artists and songs, understanding that every song has a particular effect on your nervous and perception levels.
Through a subconscious cage, you have to apply music to achieve some level of consciousness when you must have identified the mental condition you are searching for. The name for this processing method is the bottom-up system. Scientific discoveries have revealed that through the auditory brainstorm, music gets into our neural system and lights up the cerebellum.
Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Processing
Through the bottom-up processing, music creeps into our consciousness. This is revealed in the result of a study by the Northwestern University’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory. The professor of neurobiology in the institution named Nina Kraus focuses on how the nervous system is affected by music.
According to her explanations, through our brainstem, the music we listen to goes into our nervous system, and according to her father, this may be the centre of sentience. According to her, the beat of songs is only felt by songbirds and human beings. Upon hearing the music, there is always a desire by the human mind to dance metronomically to it and to also synchronize the sound. We are designed to move to the sound of music and be moved by it, that is why the current study on songbirds is exciting, because it has a huge link to the neurobiology and behaviour of human beings.
A Link between Human Romance and Mating Songbirds Is Discovered By Researchers
It was on 7th December, 2017, that research was concluded and the result revealed that the same type of emotions that arise in humans because of music may also arise in birds when they listen to bird songs. This published study reveals that unrequited love songs may have some semblance with unorganized birdsong in how they affect the amygdala. Also, songs about new love and the rush of limerence, may capitalize on the mesolimbic reward on humans and animals as well.
It was discovered that humans that enjoy songs that they cherish and female birds that are breeding witnessed the same type of neural reward system according to a leader of research at Emory University, Sarah Earp. But something different was found in male birds that were on a different male song. Their response was like that of those listening to unorganized and unpleasant music.
When the sparrows are not breeding, the male and female sexes maintain dominance in their normal relationships with songs. When they are breeding, the male will most certainly throw challenges at other intruding males by singing to them, and court the female sexes by singing to them too. This has kept scientists wondering if the same results could be achieved with bird songs and music or whether they were developed through the same evolutionary process.
Select the Music That Inspires You
We fall in love with different types of songs, and that is totally fine. That is why you must not pick music so that others will see you as cool. This defeats the primary purpose of music, because you won’t enjoy the personal, emotional, and heartfelt benefits that come from it.
Only enjoy music from a soulful and authentic place that does not pander to the dictates of the environment around you. You can wear your headset and enjoy the song that touches your soul with no apologies to anybody about that.
Those going through difficult times like many of us are witnessing now should select songs that acknowledge their emotional state and fill them up with optimism and motivation about the future. Songs like the ‘A Team’ by Ed Sheeran, will uplift you, ‘Starships’ by Nicki Minaj will raise up the adrenaline in you when the sun is out, while ‘Cherish’ by Madonna will get you that nostalgic feeling of a nice summertime from a year gone by.
One thing you should know is that you should never overplay any song, to avoid diluting the neural network that the song is tied to. If you do, this will fill it with an overlay of new memories. When you play a song after a long time, the feelings and emotions of the original times comes right back to you.
Working Out With Music
When working out with a song, ensure to use a nice pair of headphones as it enhances the music experience. The ear buds will always jingle around and make you adjust them constantly. This distracts. Also, hide the cord of the headphone inside your shirt to avoid constant dangling. Ensure to be hands-free while working out with music.
Music is a strong tool for your mood
Music is among the strongest neurobiological tools to alter your mindset, mood and behaviour. When kids are made to listen to music about hate, aggression, and violence, they grow up with those in their subconscious. That’s why it’s encouraged for people to get their kids to listen to music that is centred on love and kindness.