(Stillness in the Storm Editor) Music is a powerful catalyst for consciousness healing and evolution. Listening to music is a whole brain activity that helps restore proper balance and functioning of the mind/body system. But not all music is created equal. Some can invoke powerful states of wholeness and balance while others can increase anxiety. A team of researchers discovered that one song, in particular, has an incredible power to restore emotional balance in the same way meditation can.
Anxiety is a state of stress that reduces whole-brain processes and higher functions. Creativity, intuition, inspiration, happiness, reverie, love, and bliss are whole brain activities that cannot be invoked while also suffering from a state of fear and stress. Fear and anxiety—especially due to lack of performance in school, social situations, and the workplace—can leave people in a crippled state that often goes unaddressed, becoming a form of trauma leading to PTSD. What’s more, competition culture—which we can also think of as comparison culture—has become the norm for most of the modern world.
We’re taught early on that we need to justify our existence and life pursuits by comparing ourselves to others—if it isn’t “normal” than it isn’t socially acceptable, and you shouldn’t be doing it. This is the meta-message we receive from society and social engineers, which has become a self-policing mechanism via social media. The average social media user is constantly comparing themselves and their value system against others and a type of pandemic groupthink sickness has taken over. Newer generations who have known nothing but competition culture are plagued by self-esteem issues, depression, and anxiety. Suicide rates amongst young people continue to skyrocket, and the mainstream medical system seems completely unsure of how to deal with the problem, often prescribing medications that mask symptoms but don’t address the causal factors.
From a spiritual/psychological perspective, the problem is simple: we’re so bombarded by cultural icons, advertising, and social norms—at an early age—it is nearly impossible for people to find themselves. We need time to develop our inner essence, find our life purpose, and pour energy and attention into it. When one does this enough, they begin to become immune to the trappings of social programming and competition culture. Thus, those newer generations who have been immersed in media through venues like television, smartphones, and computers have known nothing but competition culture—they’ve never known a moment of intrinsically derived inspiration. The emotional toxicity from this ceaseless onslaught of programming that tells us we aren’t good enough and are inadequate. If left unchecked this can lead to a a fearful, anxious, and narcissistic personality.
But there is hope.
The healing and inspiring power of finding oneself—what the ancients called alchemy, self-mastery, or knowing thyself—is always at our fingertips. But when one cannot see the value in such pursuits what can others do to help?
Abstractions are difficult for the uninitiated to comprehend. Tell a child or teenager that they can improve themselves via holistic practices and they’ll probably look at you like you have six heads. But tell them that they can listen to a piece of music that calms them down and helps with concentration, and they’ll probably give it a chance.
The following article discusses several facets of modern society that have plagued newer generations. As time goes on, those children raised by cell phones, tablets, TV, and the ever-increasing competition culture will find it more challenging to maintain emotional balance and productive lives. But music, designed specifically to integrate the brain and produce meditative states of consciousness are an excellent first step. Once one intrinsically sees the value in these things, they will be more likely to step forward along the path of self-actualization and mastery.
To be sure, all of us can benefit from developing an intrinsic knowledge of self and take up past times that enhance and cultivate our inner essence. So don’t wait to begin this mind/body soul/healing process.
Ultimately, the further one walks along this path of self-mastery, the more balanced, empowered, intelligent, and inspired they become. The key of keys in this sense is developing that inner-drive to know thyself and follow that path as far as it can go—even if it means walking away from our “friends and family” who want us hold back so we can be “normal.”
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
In the end, only you can be responsible for your health, happiness, and prosperity. The sooner we start—no matter how old we are in life—the sooner we can unlock the mysteries of existence and the seemingly magical attributes hidden within each of us.
by Carolanne Wright, 2016
Anxiety — that feeling of dread, fear, worry and panic — is certainly nothing new. Hippocrates wrote about it in the fourth century BCE. As did Søren Kierkegaard in the 1860s. And Sigmund Freud addressed the disorder in 1926.
However, jump to the present and we’re seeing a significant uptick — especially with youth.
Pharmaceutical drugs tend to be the classic treatment for treating anxiety (as well as the biggest money maker). Cognitive therapy is a common approach as well. Those with a holistic bent often turn to meditation, yoga, massage and other relaxation techniques. Music therapy has also been used with some success. But now neuroscientists in the U.K. have zeroed in on a single song that results in a dramatic 65 percent reduction in overall anxiety…
Buy Marconi Union Album Weightless (Music for a Calm Mind)
Anxiety & Generation Y
A 2013 survey found that 57 percent of American female university students reported episodes of “overwhelming anxiety.” And in the United Kingdom, the charity YouthNet discovered a third of young women — and one in ten young men — suffer from panic attacks.
Marjorie Wallace, CEO of the charity Sane, believes that generation Y (those born in the 1980s and 1990s) is the age of desperation. “Growing up has always been difficult, but this sense of desperation? That’s new,” she says.
Writes Rachael Dove in Anxiety: the epidemic sweeping through Generation Y:
“So, what’s going on? The rise of technology, overly-protective parenting and “exam-factory” schooling are among the reasons psychologists suggest for our generational angst. Another, brought up on multiple occasions by my peers and by psychologists I spoke to, is the luxury (as ungrateful as it sounds) of too much choice.”
Pieter Kruger, a London-based psychologist, says research indicates that people who feel they don’t have a choice are actually more resilient — mainly because they can blame life or others if they make a wrong decision. However, if you have a range of choices, you have no one to blame but yourself. “We become much more obsessive because we want to make the right decision every time,” he says.
Writer Claire Eastham, 26, agrees on her blog We Are All Mad Here:
“I spend a lot of time worrying about what I am going to do with my life. Previous generations had choice taken out of their hands. If you are told what to do it takes the pressure away.”
In our modern era, decision making can trigger a type of paralysis. Often, we will obsessively research the many different options for, say, a pair of shoes. Eventually, information overload will kick in and shut the whole shopping venture down, leaving us exhausted and guilty for being crippled by such a seemingly simple task.
Technology also contributes to the rise of anxiety. A good number of millennials feel exposed without their smartphones — and are rarely without them. Mobile gadgets tend to be their window to the world and foster a sense of connectedness. But there’s a dark side to feeling the need to keep on top of what everyone is doing on social media — otherwise known as Fomo, or the Fear of Missing Out.
“Fomo is very real and can be a constant addiction that affects anxiety levels and a general sense of wellbeing,” says Kruger.
Social media allows us to compare everything — relationships, diet, figure, beauty, wealth, standard of living — not only with our friends, but with celebrities too. And, as research has shown, time on social media “can cause depression in people who compare themselves with others.”
Besides revamping our lifestyles and limiting exposure to social media — and learning to work with a sometimes overwhelming abundance of choice — neuroscientists have found listening to a specially designed song can have a profound influence over our levels of anxiety.
The Creation Of The Ultimate Anti-Stress Music
Researchers at Mindlab International in the U.K. wanted to know what kind of music induces the greatest state of relaxation. The study involved having participants try to solve difficult puzzles — which inherently triggered a certain degree of stress — while connected to sensors. At the same time, participants listened to a range of songs as researchers measured their brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and rate of breathing.
What they found is that one song — “Weightless” — resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.
Interestingly, the song was specifically designed to induce this highly relaxed state. Created by Marconi Union, the musicians teamed up with sound therapists to carefully arrange harmonies, rhythms and bass lines, which in turn slow a listener’s heart rate and blood pressure, while also lowering stress hormones like cortisol.
In fact, the music is so effective, that many of the female participants became drowsy — to the point where lead researcher Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson advises against listening to it while driving.
But don’t take their word for it. Experience it for yourself here:
Buy Marconi Union Album Weightless
– This article was written by Carolanne Wright and published on Wake Up World. It was syndicated on Collective Evolution
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Minor grammar corrections were made to this article on the day it was published.