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  • Choking Under Pressure? Pace your day with Music!

    10/10/2018 | Kara Johnstad
  • Music can often make or break your day. Everything around has a pulse, a rhythm. Not only music. Our words have a rhythm and tone. The music we listen to has a rhythm and tone. Our heart has a rhythm and tone. The earth has a rhythm and tone; … the weather patterns; … the cycles of nature. Our circulatory system is pulsating - surge and release. We are rhythmical beings.

    Athletes have known for many years the effects of using the proper music to pace them in running long distances. They use music consciously in training. They use music to pace distances and interestingly enough in high pressure situations. Take for example it is the final 3 minutes of a soccer game. The score is tied.

    There is a foul and the referee calls for a free shot. Studies have shown that recalling a positive upbeat rhythmic melody line and mentally singing it, a song such as “always look at the bright side of life, improves greatly the chance of staying calm and focused and making the shot. 

    Simply by connecting with a positive rhythmical melody line, relaxes us in pressure situations and can improve our overall performance.
  • Which means if you are slipping into overwhelm after a tiring rehearsal or meeting, standing in traffic, can you recall a positive upbeat tune you love and change your mood? Or perhaps you need some slow drones and rhythmical mantras to take the tension out and put the love intention back into the room. 

    When the phone rings off the hook and you are not sure how to get everything done in time, can playing some simple Bach Prelude in the background help bring you back into the moment and slow down and go from overwhelm and scattered to a clear focused mind? 

    Can we learn from top professional athletes and use music as a tool to help set the tone not only for giving a top performance but also throughout the entire day?   

    Music can help us pace the day so that we can arrive in the evening at the finishing line having accomplished what we need to do in a healthy and balanced state of mine. 

    How can we create a playlist that keeps us from choking under pressure and helps us to pace our day?  

    Soothing music is known to decrease stress and decrease the level of the stress hormone cortisol. And yet upbeat music can also relieve fatigue and boost our energy. 

    Although we do not become entirely synchronized by merely listening to music, it still has an influence on how we move throughout the day, how we talk, and how we communicate. 

    Very closely associated with the type of pulse of music is the pace. 

    For example, why do we feel that time moves more slowly in the countryside? That we can relax more and “come down” a bit. 

    The reason that the feeling of time moves quicker in the big city has greatly to do with the pulsating rhythms of the metropolis. Take away the audible sounds and sirens and moving traffic and machinery and replace it with the sound of chirping crickets and time will seem like it is standing still. 

    Many things affect us. We can not close off our ears easily. The music or pulsations and frequencies that we hear do have an effect on us. 

    While listening to other’s stories listen for the beat. The words, the melody. Listen in to the pace that is happening around you. And see if you can create the pace you need by consciously pacing and spacing your words as you join in conversations and using music in your environment to stay in tune. 

    You as the listener and creator of your life determine the final impact that the music will have on your system. How much you allow yourself to participate consciously in the power that music has to transform our days into perfectly balanced gems. 

    Your music library gives you unprecedented control how you set the pace and organize the rhythm of your day. Most likely the music you play on a lazy Sunday morning is very different than the music you play on a long run. The music you listen to while cooking maybe different than the music you listen to while trying to get packed and out the door to catch a flight. 

    By paying close attention to your inner voice and the pulse, pace, and patterns of the music you are listening to and the spacing and tone of your words in a conversation, you can create a sonic diet plan. 

    If you are prone to anxiety and stress, you now have another tool to use for staying in balance. 

    It is easy to pace your day and stay energized, refreshed and always relaxed if you listen to your inner voice and allow the music within and without to pace your day.
  • May you have the courage to persevere and stay true to your inner voice and clearest vision of how we may create a healthy and vibrant world.  Stay Gold!