C’mon sing it with me… “I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways. And no message could’ve been any clearer. If they wanna make the world a better place. Take a look at yourself and then make a chaaaange”
It is really hard to listen to the song Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson and not feel inspired to do SOMETHING! This applies to ALL genders. You may not even know why you feel good and empowered after hearing that song. We will revisit this song later in the article.
Music affects your emotions by getting your brain to trigger phycological responses that create various behaviors. These behaviors are triggered by the emotions that you consistently feel. How you consistently feel dictates how you progress toward goals. The key to getting your emotions back on track could be the music you allow in your ears.
The effect of music on your mood
For myself, I am able to use music as a tool to uplift my mood, meditate, and increase focus on particular tasks I want to get accomplished.
Our behavioral and emotional responses and memory are regulated in the limbic system part of our brain. When we listen to music, blood is rushed to that part of our brain and our limbic system activates. Once it is activated, a general increase and change in brain activity generate psychological functions like emotion, memory, attention, imagery, and so on. This is also why we can passively listen to music or tv commercial jingles and memorize the words to the songs over time.
When you listen to musical tunes that are enjoyable to you, there is a dopamine release in the brain. Dopamine is known as the feel-good hormone and when released, it activates your pleasure and reward system. That please and reward system makes you seek the thing that first triggered that dopamine hit. This causes you to constantly seek or pay attention to songs you like to listen to.
Using music to inspire you toward goals
You are required to have a certain level of vibrational energy to achieve your goals. Vibrational energy can be described as the energetic quality of a person. An uplifted mood means a higher vibrational energy. A somber or depressed mood means lower vibrational energy. Lower vibrational energy causes negative and oppressive emotions toward goals.
The goals that we set for ourselves operate at a certain vibrational level. This means they have an energetic quality of their own. We always look up to the goals that we want to accomplish, so they will always have a vibrational level higher than the one we are at. In order to accomplish our goals, we must raise our own vibrational energy to that of our goals. Music is a huge tool that you can use to raise your vibrational energy toward a goal.
A 2012 study done by researchers from the University of Missouri suggests you can boost moods in the short term and overall happiness over a two-week period. The key to the research was that participants had to have the intent to be happier before listening to the music. So to do better for your goals, you have to want to be better for your goals.
How to use music to accelerate goals
Identify what music you enjoy listening to that uplifts you. Be sure to choose music that is not distracting. It is imperative to know the difference between music that is focusing and music that is distracting. This can be a certain artist, genre, or mood of the music.
Choose a task
Choose a task that you wish to complete or work through that requires total focus. Take the time to write it down. If there are multiple tasks to complete, make sure that you write them down in order of importance. For better tracking of your progress, put check boxes next to each task that you write down, and check them off once you have completed or worked through them.
Designate a time of day, location of study, or situation of choice where you will listen to the music that puts you in focus. Again, the music should not be distracting. The music you choose should put you in a state of flow. A state where time passes without you realizing it because you are so locked in on the task at hand. Put your phone away or turn the face of the phone down to aid focus and avoid leaving the flow state due to the distraction of a notification lighting up your phone in your peripheral.
I quoted Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror not only because it’s an all-time great song in my opinion, but because of the effect it has on me. It uplifts my mood and inspires me to create positive change within myself. The call to action in the song is a great message for us all which is if you want to make anything happen, you must first look at yourself and be the change you want to see. You should listen to the music that inspires you and become the person that is required for your goals.
May the groove be with you.