While watching a great, entertaining movie have you ever wondered—apart from the stunning visuals, the actors, and the action—what else makes you stay entranced? It is the music, which runs in the background but still subtly aligns your emotions with what you are watching on screen. It is the music that makes you sad during an emotional scene and gets you pumped up during a high-octane action sequence. This illustrates how music has the power to instantly shift your mind’s focus; it has a unique ability to guide your emotions and make you feel something outside of your own experience.
While filmmakers and artists use music to entertain people, many researchers, doctors, and even spiritual leaders use the astonishing ability of music and musical chants to heal the human mind. In 2018, a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry revealed that ‘mantram’ repetition therapy, which is based on religious chanting, has proven to be useful in treating post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) in veterans.
Psychological disorders related to stress, anxiety, and depression can arise from various negative emotions you unknowingly process in your mind on a regular basis. All these emotions flow in your brain in the form of brain waves and interestingly, these waves are sensitive to the vibrations that are created through music or chanting. So, when your brain waves respond to music, they can change the way you feel.
The Value of Chanting: A Success Story
Mathew Garcia, a single parent and a police officer with the Chicago police department, was slowly falling into a depression due to an accident involving his teenage son, Chris. During a school football match, Chris suffered a terrible spinal injury, and even after medical treatment, he wasn’t able to walk properly. Seeing his son struggling like this every day broke police officer Mathew from the inside and he wasn’t able to focus on his police work. He became more and more isolated and withdrawn.
Chloe, a yoga lover and the physiotherapist helping Chris with his injury, could see how Mathew was impacted. So she invited them both to join a weekly music and chanting session at her yoga studio. There were around 50 people in the session and the studio became filled with repetitive and rhythmic chanting.
The activity proved to be a very calming experience for Mathew, and at the end of the session he shared that he felt significantly more positive and relieved. Mathew had a total mood shift that day and, when he started taking the sessions more regularly, he even began listening and practicing the chants at home. Now Mathew is spending more time working and taking sessions with his son than being alone and isolated.
Those musical sessions altered the stress-generating brainwaves of Mathew’s mind and changed the flow of his emotions. His stress levels went down every time he practiced the chanting and participated in the sessions.
This one incident shows that sometimes you are not aware of your mind’s potential and the ways your mind can heal. A police officer like Mathew never expected that music could help him overcome his stress and trauma. Similarly, a veteran may not imagine that his or her PTSD could be alleviated through chanting some mantra. You must understand that there is no rule to how your mind works.
Whether it is about you or Mathew or anyone else, the human mind perceives music as a form of energy and when this energy is harnessed in a proper way, it can not only heal your mind but also guide you towards greater positivity.