When people think of mindfulness, they often think that it means “being present,” but everyone has a different idea of what you “should” be being present to. For example, I was at a friend’s house the other day and some wonderful music was playing and I was “being present” to it. However, apparently he was talking to me and I wasn’t paying attention to him. So he said, because he thinks of me as the mindfulness guy, “you’re not being very present are you.”
The fact is, I was being present, just present to what I felt was most important in that moment, the music.
As it turns out, certain music is being found to be good not only for our mental health, but also for our physical health.
Take a moment to listen to this and see what you notice:
Oxford University scientists have found that listening to music with a 10-second repetitive cycle like Beethoven’s third movement No. 9 can lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
This brings me to the importance of being mindful of our environments and how we can be intentional of setting up our environments for our health and well-being. This is a very important point I try and emphasize in Uncovering Happiness.
When speak of nutrition, we usually think of food. But food is energy to our bodies and our brain takes in all kinds of energy from all our senses. So if we know that certain music is nutritious for our heart, then it may be a good idea to integrate it into our environment. Now does that mean we toss aside music that increases our heartbeats (like some Red Hot Chili Peppers songs), absolutely not. Maybe if we have a heart condition, but otherwise that could be a good source of play which has other benefits.
So, the take home message, be mindful of music, it can be good for your heart and mind.
PS – Another thing that’s going to be good for your heart and mind is the Uncovering Happiness Symposium with Byron Katie, Jack Kornfield, Dan Siegel, Rick Hanson, Sharon Salzberg, Kelly McGonigal, Dan Harris, Tara Brach and so many more. If you want to be alerted to this make sure you’re signed up at The Mindful Living Community. (When you sign up it defaults to you getting Daily Now Moments, if you just want weekly updates choose the weekly option).
Adapted from Mindfulness and Psychotherapy