Everyone deals with uncertainty in life. It might be something that impacts you, personally, like illness or the loss of a job. Or, it could be something that affects society as a whole, like wars or a pandemic.
While we can’t always avoid these things or keep them from happening, it’s important to find ways to cope with uncertainties so you don’t turn towards unhealthy habits or things that will numb you from reality.
Music might be known as the universal language, but it can also be the universal healer – especially when you feel shaken about something. Whether you’re a beginner musician still trying to reap the benefits of practicing or music has been in your blood for years, it is crucial to understand how it can help you in times of trouble.
If you feel like you’re standing on shaky ground, turn to music. Pick up an instrument, start to practice, write, or listen to your favorite songs. Now is the time to reignite your passion for music or to start understanding how it can change your life. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at why you should turn to music practice in times of uncertainty.
It Can Help You Find and Express Yourself
Music is one of the purest forms of expression. There’s no right or wrong way to play, sing, write, or practice if you’re creating something unique and genuine. Music is a fantastic way to process and express difficult emotions. Uncertainty can cause a lot of those to arise. It’s not always easy to talk about your feelings, but when you’re able to express them through a melody, life somehow feels simpler. It’s especially helpful when dealing with emotions like:
There’s a reason why so many people turned toward music during the pandemic. Not only did it help people process emotions that were difficult to understand or express, but it helped to reduce stress, improve mental health, and build resiliency.
It Can Inspire You
Speaking of resiliency, it’s often needed when you’re struck with uncertain situations. Life can throw curveball after curveball and being able to get back up every time is important. Music can help.
Think about some of the darkest times in your life. What comforted you? How do you get through moments of fear? For centuries, people have used music as a way to get through difficult situations and boost their resiliency.
Look at the history of slavery in the United States, for example. Most of us have heard some of the popular “slave songs” coined during that period, but it’s crucial to think about why those songs were so important. They provided hope and distraction and boosted the mental well-being of those being treated so unjustly. They inspired them to keep going. Others like Harriet Tubman used songs as a strategy to communicate with slaves in their struggle for freedom. Coded songs contained words giving directions on how to escape also known as signal songs or where to meet known as map songs.
When someone goes through a bad breakup or loses a loved one, there’s undoubtedly a song that fits the exact emotions they’re dealing with.
When a boxer steps into the ring with someone they’re scared about fighting, there’s a song that can inspire them and help them to stand strong.
Building resilience requires focusing on the positive and reducing your stress. Music allows you to do both, no matter how uncertain the situation is.
It Provides a Sense of Community
One of the most beautiful things about music is how communal it is. Again, it’s the universal language. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, playing instruments or singing with others is an incredible way to connect, bond, and share emotions.
It’s easy to feel alone when things are uncertain. Unfortunately, that can contribute to anxiety, depression, and isolation. You’re also more likely to cope with difficult situations in unhealthy ways when you’re on your own. For example, if you’ve had problems with alcohol abuse in the past, there are plenty of things that could trigger a relapse, including:
- Certain groups of friends or family members
- Important anniversaries or events
- Feelings of anger, sadness, or frustration
Being around the right people can help you avoid those triggers and make it easier to cope in healthy ways. Because music is a natural mood booster and stress reducer, it also makes it more likely that you’ll stick with positive coping mechanisms. It’s a healthy way to pass the time when things feel out of control, and it provides a reason to come together, so you don’t feel like you’re alone when the world is shaking.
If we wanted to talk about the healing benefits of music, you would be reading all day. However, we’ve been living in a lot of global uncertainty over the last few years, and that doesn’t include what might be going on in your personal life.
Whatever you’re dealing with, let music help. Let it inspire you, heal you, provide you with passion, and speak to your soul. In so many ways, it can feel like a solid rock when everything else seems unstable.
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.
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