“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.” ― Plato

I love country music. (I think Plato would be ok with that.) Truth be told, I enjoy pretty much all types of music, depending on the mood I’m in or want to be in. Country music is often my companion on long runs. I enjoy listening to words you can actually understand and stories about life and emotions we know. While I love the faster, more upbeat tunes, I also enjoy the slow love ballads. Those songs about new love, troubled love, and lost love. Music can alter our moods and amplify our current feelings, so I’ve discovered it is essential for me to select my music, artists, songs, and genres with much greater awareness.

I’ve recently become much more aware of my sense of hearing and the sounds in my environment. Our sense of hearing is one of our most valuable senses and one we all take for granted.  It is a direct link with our surroundings and how we relate to others.  Imagine if you couldn’t hear and all you would miss in life.  In the past few years, when I observe how my mother struggles to stay connected with the world with her very limited hearing, it’s heart-breaking.

Just as we fill our spaces with too much stuff, we often are not even conscious about what sound occurs around us and how it affects us. Having the TV on (whatever the channel), tends to hype me up and can be very distracting. This can be good or bad, depending. Many experts recommend not watching TV in bed or before going to bed due to this hyperactive effect on our brain. Although my husband often falls asleep at 9 pm watching TV, so that may disprove that theory!

A cacophony of unfiltered sounds can rattle our spirit and impact our mood, making us edgy and stressed. Selecting music we love can soothe our soul, melt our heart, and even affect our brain patterns.

Music affects us in many ways. It can take us back to high school angst, our first serious boy friend, and pull up memories of that great love of long ago. Certain songs serve as a sponge of painful, tear stained nights. When I broke up with a man I felt was “the one” many years ago, I was sure Garth Brooks’ song, The Dance, had been written just for me. Even today, over 20 years later, I still tear up when I hear the song, although not when I think of him! The words of that song also helped me realize I was not alone in my feelings of loss, as well as coming to terms that I never would have given up the experience for the pain at the end. And I attribute Creedence Clearwater’s version of Proud Mary to help me run my fastest 1/2 marathon a couple months ago.

Various music genres move us in other ways. I enjoy classical guitar and piano when working. It seems to help me concentrate. Jazz, whether it’s the smooth saxophone of Kenny G or the magic of Miles Davis, they export my spirit and mind to places more creative and unrestricted.

We all have our favorites. What are some of yours?  Add them to your playlists if you haven’t already? And let’s not forget the “sound of silence”.   I embrace silence far more often throughout the day than ever before. Be mindful of what sounds you allow into your space and your day? Do they enhance your current situation and mood, bring you down, or agitate you? Be aware, and change that tune…it could change your mood.