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De-stress with music!

- Juhi Dua

Stress is an increasing phenomenon in the current age and time and harmful physical and psychological effects of stress can cause many common illnesses. While we cannot change the major life events that lead to excessive stress and anxiety, we can attempt at relieving the symptoms and spreading wellness and well being by taking time to recharge and revive our mind, body and soul… and what could be a better healer than music??

How music heals...
Music has been present throughout the history of humankind. Of course musical styles change but the power and popularity of music has never changed. Our sages from time immemorial have emphasized on the potency of music as a healer and doctors across the globe testify that the sound of soothing music can alter heart and respiration rates as well as brain waves. Moreover, several researches have proven that soothing music is helpful on stressful days & sleepless nights. So how does music really work?

• Music regenerates body cells and pacifies the mind, creating a mind-set conducive to relaxation and unwinding.
• It alters and influences our thoughts and emotions. It relaxes us, energizes us and can make us happy or sad. It has the power to affect our mood. For example, peppy music with happy lyrics lifts up our spirits.
• Tranquil quality of music makes it ideal for enhancing the experience of every day activities and also helps in the treatment of the physical and mental ailments.
• It animates the environment and aids the process of wholeness and health, emanating a personal retreat each time it is played, creating a positive oasis for unwinding and reviving.
• Serene strains of music are widely believed to cure hypertension and insomnia. The harmonious notes have a positive effect on the mind and facilitate and deepen a space of calmness and peacefulness of the heart where deep relaxation can take place. When aided with meditation and yoga, it can help the listener to renew their thought process, enabling them to shed the old layers of stressful thoughts.

What kind of music is really de-stressing?
Slow music calms the nerves and is de-stressing for most people. It allows them to sit down and relax. But if the music is slowed below approximately 50 beats per minute it can create an atmosphere of sadness, even depression and sometimes even powerlessness and desperation. That is why for relaxation, music is usually kept above 50 beats per minute. Ballads, some forms of classical music and New Age, mantra-based music, as well as meditation music create a perfectly peaceful atmosphere that is good for relaxing after a busy day or for a relaxing dinner. Instrumental music such as that featuring Guitar, Violin, Sitar, Santoor, Flute and Sarangi can be quite relaxing as well.

Experts say that music sub-consciously boosts brainpower by instilling solace in mind, body and soul. They suggest merging of music with Yoga or exercise or even morning and evening walks, this helps in the process of improvisation of mental functioning by inducing flow of blood through the brain. Music also distracts the mind from all tensions and brings people in a state of ease.

Hospitals increasingly are opening up to the idea of playing music during operations and in recovery rooms for creating a better environment for healing. Acupuncturists have begun using Chinese healing music such as that of the Shanghai Chinese Traditional Orchestra as a perfect accompaniment to their work. Reiki practitioners use meditative mantra based music, consisting of ancient mantras taken from our scriptures or holy texts or mantras written by experts of today, particularly suited to this gentle energy work. And many individual doctors like me are discovering a wide selection of music recordings, some with subliminal suggestions, as an aid to meditation, sleeping, stress relief, learning, alcohol recovery and more.

So what’s stopping you? Enter the healing sanctuary of sound now!

Deliver a Remedy to Depression

Depression can come in varied forms. Here’s what you can do to be a pillar of support to family and friends in helping them deal with difficult times.

Dealing with any kind of depression follows a three way path. They are a) Shock, b) Adjustment and c) Beginning of a New Life.

Shock: When an individual cannot believe the news about a diagnosis or death, chalk out the following action plan:
1. Make them talk to someone about the news and their feelings. You can even advice his/her family member to make the person speak out his/her feelings.
2. You can even approach some expert listeners like trained clergy, mental health counselors, social workers and nurses. Even support groups provide wonderful help.
3. Give genuine support and not suggestions to fix the grief. Be an avid listener.
4. Be encouraged to keep a list of all the schedules. Remainders can be very helpful.

Adjustment: In this stage you can encourage someone by the following techniques.
1. Make the person realize that what is lost cannot be regained. Help him/her to use their remaining abilities and skills to enjoy the company of an ill person and do things together.
2. If possible engage him/her into gardening, swimming laps, golf, scrubbing the floor, waxing the car or furniture, trimming bushes and walks which can help him/her to find an expression for intense feelings.
3. Encourage him/her to write down their feelings on a notebook. It will help him/her to review their past experiences and gain some perspective of the present situation.
4. Help him/her to express themselves with painting or music.

Beginning of a New Life: A considerable amount of time has passed and now you can motivate him/her to peep into the next phase of his/her life.
1. Ask him/her to seek the company of a pet – a helpful stress buster. Try to do something different. Get them to indulge in a movie or a special treat.
2. Also encourage him/her to be more social. Go to a sports event or a free lecture at the public library. Being around the company of healthy people proves to be an effective healing method.
3. Make them recollect what fun it used to be hanging out with friends or family together. It will just be a matter of time for him/her to restore all former activities and friendships.
4. Share your experience with him/her. Tell him/her how wonderful it was to see him/her the way you wanted. In the end let him/her be inspired to be an unpaid assistant like you to help people in distress.

Can Spiritualism Help Beat Job-stress?

Stress at the workplace has often been referred to as a ‘worldwide epidemic'. The Human Resources Department of many giant corporates have identified 10 common symptoms that induce job stress. They include:
a. Anxiety
b. Indecisiveness
c. Irritability
d. Complaining
e. Forgetfulness
f. Loss of self-confidence
g. Argumentativeness
h. Insomnia
i. Rapid emotional shifts
j. Physical exhaustion

How could one cope up with these 10 threats that loom large over the urbane human being?

The answer to this is strange but true. By enjoying the simple joys of life!

  • The wonders of waking up early in the morning
  • Going for an early morning stroll
  • Sitting on a park bench and admiring nature

    Get this into schedule in your daily routine! Corporate trainers also recommend meditation and yoga to deal with job-stress. If you hardly find the time to continue it and practice in an efficient manner due to lack of time 'The 10 minute-your-own-space step' is recommended.

    It is a very basic tool for which one has only to dedicate 10 minutes of his time each day. What does one do? Take time out for yourself; your own space, 10 minutes away from work, family friends, 10 minutes of solitude.

    This is the time for introspection. Analyse yourself, your weaknesses and his strengths. What makes you happy, what doesn't. Evaluate what you have, against what you don't have. Count your blessings.

    A good self analysis often helps to bail out the negative energies as one identifies exactly what these are. The cleansing process becomes easier as one gets more conscious about self and now has the knowledge of what needs correcting.

    You will be surprised just how much more relaxed, energetic and vibrant you will feel within a few days. So start your 10-minute exercise from today!

  • Now or Later

    In our absolutely hectic fast paced lives, spiritual development and education takes a back seat. In most cases it does not even figure in the list. Many people do not want to discuss, learn or contemplate spiritual nourishment. They claim to be "practical". The question is - is it impractical to be spiritual? People dive into a frenzy of spiritual activity when faced with a crisis in their life. Only then does the need for spiritual solace and a spiritual conscience appeal to them. Then they decide to embark on spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer.

    Are you waiting for a wake up call in the form of a crisis to lead you to the path of spirituality? Why don't you want to start practicing spirituality now? Are you ready to turn "later" and "someday" into "now" when it comes to attending your spiritual life? Here are some questions that would set you thinking:
    • Why would you wait until you’re about to die to focus on spirituality, when it could be enriching absolutely everything in your life today?
    • How much more prepared for dealing with life’s greatest challenges (including death) will you be if you make a commitment right now to nourish your spirit in whatever way works best for you?
    • How long are you going to keep depriving yourself of that which will bring you more satisfaction than anything the material world has to offer?

    Spirituality encompasses the kinds of things you want in your life, which will nourish you every day. So why not start from today?

    "See God in every person, place, and thing, and all will be well in your world."
    --Louise Hay

    How Do I Practice Spirituality?

    People who want to practice spirituality often ask an interesting question – how do I do it? There is no hard and fast rule to follow spiritual practices. A simple and effective way is to keep your surroundings full of beautiful music and lovely flowers. Try reading and memorizing thoughts that inspire. If there is some good thing that you have always wanted to do, start doing it.

    All that said and done, you need to ask yourself - Have they brought me inner peace? If they have, then you are practicing spirituality but if they are not, there is something wrong with them - so you need to make changes. There is no fixed format to follow just as there is no standard way to pray. It is you who chooses your method to practice spirituality. Since spiritual development as a process is as diverse as the people who seek spiritual enhancement, most of us can teach one another.

    “See God in every person, place, and thing, and all will be well in your world.”
    --Louise Hay





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