It’s easy to get lost in music. You might like the rhythm, the beat, the bass, the lyrics, or just the sound of the instruments. Music has a powerful ability to transport the mind to other places. Listening to music and making music have meditative properties which are healing to the mind, body, and spirit. Music therapy in treatment for addiction and dual diagnosis issues can help clients access emotions and memories which might otherwise be blocked. Through lyrics and emotional sounds, music helps clients become more mindful of their emotions. Mindfulness is a spiritual practice by nature which has gained clinical renown for its ability to reduce stress and symptoms of challenging mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Becoming aware of the present moment through the tasks of noticing and paying attention are the foundation of mindfulness. Until people become aware they usually aren’t aware of how unaware they have been. Why don’t we notice the world around us or the world within us more often? We simply aren’t taught to do so. Mindfulness practices help train the brain to be more aware which and keen to noticing. Music is a way to enhance mindfulness by practicing mindfulness in music oriented situations.
For men and women in recovery, music can become a powerful tool. Discovering new music tastes, finding songs which define new feelings, learning to play an instrument, and attending music shows are transformative experiences. Here are some ways to bring music and mindfulness together in your recovery:
- Go to live music shows with friends: At first it might feel intimidating to go to venues where alcohol is served and not drink. Ask for a soda or a water to have something to hold onto but mindfully focus on the music and the environment. Notice how your thoughts might drift to depression or anxiety. See if you can become aware of how often you leave the present moment and what helps you come back. Focus on your breathing and feel the vibrations of the PA system through your body. Notice how many of your sense are activated by attending a live music show.
- Listen to new kinds of music you have never explored before. What feels different and uncomfortable about it? Try to notice your thoughts and any physical tension which arises from the music.
- Pay attention to natural music. Take a walk and notice all the different sounds around you. See how many different sounds are happening at once, each at their own tempo.
- Take a walk listening to music. Have you ever noticed the way life tends to move to a beat? Create a soundtrack to your day as if it were in a movie and notice how music helps move your energy and keep it going.
Enlightened Solutions brings together the healing therapies of holistic treatment with the proven effect of alternative therapies in addition to evidence based clinical treatments. Our partial care programs for addiction and dual diagnosis issues heal mind, body, and spirit while helping clients create a new life in recovery. For more information, call us today at 833-801-5483.