How does music affect us? There’s a song that says music can heal our soul. What does it mean? It means music can help us deal with stress and cope with the overwhelming emotions that we experience in life. Whether it is joy, sadness, anger, hatred, grief, disgust, or fear, music can help us deal with it. If food nourishes the body, it is music that rejuvenates our mind.
I have read and heard about the positive effects of music on people, but I never realized how much it could influence one’s life. I never paid attention to understanding clichés about music – “language of the soul.” I never thought life would hammer me with the truth about it. Now I know how important music is. According to Daniel Levitin PhD, “… early evidence says that music can alter pain thresholds.” He also adds “There’s stronger evidence that it can affect mood and heart rate and respiration rate.”
I grew up listening to my mom. She was a famous local singer in our little town, and everybody loved her. People would always ask me if I got my mother’s talent, and I would say no. I am not as good as her, but I loved singing. I would practice when she wasn’t around because I was scared that I might disappoint her.
Time passed, and I lost the will to pursue music. I thought I had no hope. Then I fell in love, and I forgot how frustrated I was. I, later on, got married and moved on from giving up on my dreams. I left my mom and lived with my husband and her mom who was sick at that time.
We stayed at my mother-in-law’s house, and there were tons of rules. She was suffering from OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder. She would get upset with even a slight misplacement of her stuff. She hated noises and goofy and clumsy behavior. I hate to admit, but I was the opposite of what she liked. I was noisy, and I loved singing out loud. I was clumsy and goofy.
They say love changes us, and it did change me. I became a well-mannered lady. I didn’t sing in the shower anymore. I avoided making jokes and laughing out loud. I didn’t play my playlist anymore as I was busy pleasing my mother-in-law. According to Kathleen Smith PhD, “But if you can’t cope with change, only a minor amount of stress can make you feel overwhelmed by life. You might also struggle to set and meet the goals you have for yourself.”
Now, after six years, I am suffering from anxiety and depression. Somehow, I think of what might have caused my illness. I couldn’t help but think that it had to do with the absence of music in my life. I stopped loving music ever since I chose to love someone. I decided to change who I was because I thought I needed to change to deserve a spot in someone’s life.
I was wrong! Giving up music was the biggest mistake I ever made because giving it up meant giving up myself. Every day without music made me a sad, miserable person.
Why Living Life Without Music Can Make You Sick:
You focus more on the negative things that happen around you. When you are listening to music, your mind is busy understanding the song and enjoying the melody. It makes you sing along and dance with the beat. It uplifts your spirit when you feel emotionally down. Rick Nauert PhD states “Music helps reduce pain by activating sensory pathways that compete with pain pathways in the brain, stimulating emotional responses, and engaging cognitive attention. Because the music is competing with the pain pathways in the brain, it appears to help to take the focus away from pain.”
After a while of not being able to listen to music and not being able to sing my heart out, my body and mind grew weary. I was too busy thinking about my worries that I got sick. The other day, I got a hold of earphones, and I plugged it in and listened to some song. The feeling was incomparable. It was like there was a warm spirit that got into me. I didn’t think of what or who surrounded me. It was just me and the music, and it was one of the most unforgettable moments of my life – the beginning of my healing through music.