From the time that I was a baby, my dad sang to me. My mother, to the horror of family members, cashed in her teacher's superannuation (pension) of $300.00 when I was six to buy a piano so that I could take lessons. I remember taking my quarter each week and setting it on the corner of the instructor's piano to pay for the half hour session.
Over the years I have sung in choirs, purchased hundreds of 45s, LPs, 8-tracks (my age shows), cassettes and CDs. I have bought tickets to concerts, danced at Cabarets and sung in the Rotary Festival. As well, I have added some fun jazz songs when doing professional or impromptu entertaining.
Music has been and continues to be a powerful and influential part of my life.
Now I don't want to be disrespectful but I'm not big on "heavy metal". I don't know if it's the loudness or the lyrics but sometimes I would listen to songs with clients and feel the hair on the back of my neck rise or a tightening in my muscles. It's not that I hate it but it doesn't give me the same feeling as other types of music.
Our brains are similar, in some ways, to a ghetto blaster or stereo system. The major difference of course, is that the electronic system has a power button and can be turned off. Not so with the brain.
Sometimes I hear people state that they "veg" in front of the television and just let their brain go blank. That is really not possible. The brain is always working - even when we sleep.
The main similarity between the brain and the stereo system is that with each we choose the tunes we play. Self-talk involves the continuous stream of messages that we tell ourselves 24 hours a day. "I knew you wouldn't be able to do that" or "Way to go. You did it" can be as powerful to us as the reactions we have to "heavy metal" compared to "a lullaby".
When people are anxious, worried or insecure, the behaviours can often be observed in their body language. They might tremble, stutter or apologize frequently.
Affirmations are statements that a person makes to himself or herself. In order for them to be effective in helping the individual to reach potential, they need to state a goal in the present tense that is said with emotion. For example, if you are facing a test, it won't help to keep telling yourself "I can't do this. I'm going to fail". Instead you might reword your affirmation to "I can do this. I am smart enough and I have made it this far. I know that with preparation I am a person who can accomplish things that are important to me!"
What a difference! It's kind of like the difference between "heavy metal" and a "lullaby". They sound different and create different reactions and results.
What's your musical preference?
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From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker