Incorporating music into our life when we feel stressed, overwhelmed, or exhausted can help to elevate our mood, motivate us, and help us to relax.
– Justin Cikuru, Lead Therapist, Make Music Matter
Music Reconnects Us:
6 STEPS TO RELIEVE STRESS WITH MUSIC
It’s normal to feel stressed, exhausted, and overwhelmed by current events. We’ve put together a short series of techniques to help you relax, detach from the negative thoughts that might be clouding your head, and channel your energy into something creative.
You’ll choose one of a series of instrumental tracks that we’ve provided, internalize the rhythm, express yourself with vocalization, and find the words to articulate your feelings.
We know that music heals, and together we can find harmony in challenging times.
It’s a simple process that takes 20-30 minutes. Here’s how to get started:
1. CHOOSE A TRACK: Listen to the series of instrumental tracks we’ve provided in the #MusicReconnectsUs playlist below that reflect a range of emotions you might be experiencing. Think about how you’re feeling and choose a track that speaks to you and reassures you. Tracks can also be downloaded here.
By identifying a track that speaks to you, you’re making the decision to break the negative cycle of stressful thoughts and to engage in a therapeutic process.
2. INTERNALIZE THE INSTRUMENTAL: Find a place where you feel calm, listen to the music, and internalize the instrumental in silence, allowing the rhythm to soothe your mind and help focus your thoughts.
By internalizing the instrumental, you’re making a connection between your mind and your emotions, creating enough balance to properly regulate your mood.
3. ADD YOUR VOICE: Begin to vocalize with the instrumental. Start by mimicking a song without words until you feel a sense of relief. This step can be done while standing, lying in bed, moving around your kitchen, or anywhere you feel comfortable.
By adding your voice, you’re starting to energize your body and increase focus. You’re beginning to detach from negative thoughts to regain serenity, gradually reducing stress and invasive anxiety. Adding your voice helps you to become aware of your physiological state and increases the efficiency of your brain in processing information.
4. CAPTURE WORDS: Notice the words that are flowing through your mind and sing them out loud. Don’t worry about the consistency of the words or the quality of the song. Sing only what comes from the inspiration you’ve found in the moment.
By putting words to the chosen instrumental, you’re releasing your negative thoughts to set yourself free and open up space for positive thoughts and beliefs. Music at this level engages your brain to reduce impulsivity.
5. RECORD YOUR MUSIC: If you feel like it, record yourself as you sing out loud using your phone or computer. (See tips below) You may find it comforting to listen to your creation later, whenever you feel stressed. Or you may want to repeat the exercise any day you feel the need.
Recording your music and creating something concrete can improve your self-confidence and self-esteem as you recognize that you have the power to change things. It increases your motivation to work and have fun, which can bring joy and satisfaction.
6. SHARE YOUR SONG: Feeling isolated? Consider sharing your piece of art and joining our community by using the hashtags #MusicReconnectsUs and #MakeMusicMatter when you post your song on social media.
By sharing your song, you’ll connect with a community of people who are experiencing the same thing, reminding you that you are not alone and what you are going through is normal. When you share your piece, you’re also helping other people by encouraging and comforting those who are feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
Don’t forget to tag us so we can share your creation with the world!
TIPS FOR RECORDING YOUR SONG
What should I use to record myself?
Use the standard voice recording app on your phone to record your vocals and use another device like a tablet or computer to play the instrumental track in the background.
Where will I get the best recording?
Avoid rooms with distinct reverberations like a bathroom or a hallway. The best set up is in a quiet room where you can position yourself away from any reflective surfaces likes windows, walls, or big screens.
How should I position my phone?
Rest your phone on a steady surface with its microphone about 4 to 7 inches from your mouth. Make sure you know where the microphone is located on your specific phone model.
At what volume should I sing?
Sing as if you were singing to someone in the same room as you.
A few more basic tips to get the best recording possible:
Place yourself in a comfortable upright position and keep still.
Having your eyes closed often helps to connect us with our emotions and gives you more control over your expression.
Your mood is always transmitted through the recording, so don’t hesitate to smile, if that’s how you’re feeling.