Everyone knows the power of music on our minds. As Plato said over 2000 years ago, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Indeed, listening to music–especially slow music such as classical, jazz, or ambient music–soothes our body and relieves stress. We feel more balanced, rejuvenated, and free of worry. Various medical studies have shown the impact of music on mood regulation. It’s long been understood that sound frequencies have a major impact on our health and general well-being. Different sound frequencies have specific effects on our emotions and body. If your mind tends to wander, listening to music may help you to focus on the “now” — which can help you stay centered. Let’s learn more about the power of music on our emotions, and how to practice meditation with music.
Some sounds have the ability to raise our vibrations, and even to ease symptoms of anxiety and stress. Sound healing has been practiced across the globe and is an ancient meditation technique that relies on various instruments to create vibrational states, taking us to unknown territories. In Aboriginal culture, sound healing has been practiced for over 40,000 years, but it also has ancient roots in other parts of the world, too. Using Tibetan bowls or gongs tuned to a specific frequency can ease the symptoms of several conditions. Some instruments are believed to have impressive healing powers, such as singing bowls, harp, pan flute, and drums. As with many mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation, sound healing is very popular these days, as our daily lives become busy and stressful.
According to the belief in chakras, each chakra has its own frequency, meaning it’s possible to work on each chakra and balance them using specific music or sounds. Each vibration makes our chakra more rooted and helps us rebalance our energies. Chakras are defined as our energy centers from which the energy moves. It is believed that when our chakras are balanced, we feel in harmony and in peace. Healing music can be used to help us rebalance our chakras. There are two properties of vibration which determine a sound: the amplitude, which is the size of the vibration and determines how loud a sound is, and the frequency, which is the speed of the vibration and is measured in Hertz (Hz). Each chakra is associated with a specific frequency, and by visualizing the color of the chakra — and listening to sounds scaled to that specific frequency of the chakra — we can rebalance our emotions.
In addition, Binaural beats, which imply two auditory illusions of the same frequency, can have an impact on our mental wellbeing and regulate our mood. This form of sound therapy has gained popularity over the past few years and can help relieve anxiety. Binaural beats playing at a specific frequency can have specific effects; for example, delta patterns which range from 0.5–4 Hz can improve sleep and reduce insomnia, while Theta pattern ranging from 4 to 7 Hz can boost creativity and concentration. Alpha patterns from 7–13 Hz can help you to relax while Beta patterns from 13–30 Hz may improve alertness and reduce anxiety. Gemma patterns of 30–50 Hz can maintain arousal and ease some symptoms of depression.
Now that we know how sound vibrations work on our mind and body, we may want to indulge in states of deep relaxation. Yet, during these uncertain times, it’s difficult to attend sound healing sessions such as a gong bath or Tibetan bowls. Yet, we do have access to a great deal of ambient healing music that can be listened to to relax — and to find balance within ourselves. As we let the music take over our mind and soul, our body relaxes and our mind stops wandering. Meditating to music is one of the best ways to discover our inner ability to survive and glow, from the inside out.
To practice, first find a comfortable, silent place, sit comfortably on the floor and play some background music to relax. When you close our eyes, you can envision a forest, a mountain, the sea, or the ocean, and feel the vibrations of the sound slowly entering your ears. Once you enter a state of deep relaxation, you can continue the beautiful journey by visualizing something positive, warm, and enchanting, such as a poetic landscape. Take a deep breath in and out, and repeat it as you listen to the music you love.
Another technique consists of listening to some music meditation podcasts. You can set up an intention before the practice, for instance, “Today, I want to feel love,” and let the vibrations of the sound guide you through the time you have set for yourself. Listening to background music including sounds of nature, binaural beats, or ambient music makes you feel grounded, more energetic, and relaxed. As you listen to the beauty of the sounds, you may notice a tingling sensation, a normal physical reaction, and may feel the anxiety or stress gradually leaving our body. Your mind may feel lighter and your soul more joyful, thanks to the combined power of meditation and healing music.
To get started, feel free to listen to this ambient background music by Meditopia and to indulge in its beautiful sounds.