by Martin Mayer
Music is the key to a thousand emotions. We associate music with the places we have been, the times we have experienced and the people in our lives. Music is all around us. There is no denying the effectiveness of music, so why not use it to affect our own emotions and enhance our personal environment? Relaxing music, relaxation music, meditation music... call it what you will. There is no question that it can help us to shape our environment effectively and can be changed to suit or influence our mood.
In todays society, wherever there is radio, television, cinema or the internet, we will be exposed to music. Music is all around us and is a commodity so important that is used by virtually every company on the planet to sell us their products and services. Very often we are completely oblivious to the sounds drifting out of those in-store speakers or the impact and drama of an action-movie soundtrack placed in a car advert. Music is a complex language that can convey any emotion or conjure a response from any audience. At the same time music is simple and universally understandable.
We are used to others using music to influence our emotions and therefore decisions. However, we rarely use music's benefits to help ourselves. Relaxing music or relaxation music (also marketted as meditation music or yoga music) can be used to relieve stress, unwind after a hard day at work, promote good sleep or as a focus of concentration during yoga or meditation.
As a composer of music for relaxation, for a long time have researched the benefits of music for health and wellbeing. Music is just a part of relaxation, but can be the key to calm and relax your mind and body. A good habit can be built; find a quite room, put work worries to one side and allow yourself time to unwind - dim the lights, light some candles or incense or whatever you find calming. Close your eyes and focus on the sound of your breath. Take in the same amount of air and breathe longer breaths but less often. Relaxing music is a great focus for an exercise like this or any relaxation technique. Listen to relaxation music at a volume level that is high enough to mask any background noise but not so high as to be overbearing. In a busy workplace or home, headphones are useful.
The music should not be too distracting and should be carefully composed to be easy to listen to. Music should be upbeat but also interesting and different enough to capture the imagination and become a suitable focus for relief. Nature sounds enhance the experience as this helps you to imagine a place of peace, calm, tranquility and serenity. It is best to use music written specifically for relaxation, although you could use any music that you find particularly relaxing. This technique is most useful if it can be practiced for a significant amount of time - more than half an hour. However, it can be effective if used for no more than just a few minutes at break times.
Martin Mayer is a media composer and owner of Sounds That Soothe - producing music to calm and relax. The new CD, "Silver Streams" is available now.