A lot of overeating (and emotional eating) happens when we use food to try to “feel better” or improve our mood or our day. Interestingly, music can be an incredibly powerful tool that can serve the same purpose–and doesn’t cause weight gain.
At a conference recently, I experienced a very convincing demonstration of the power of music. We were shown a short three minute video, filmed from the perspective of someone walking on a trail through the woods down to a beach. There were no people visible in the video, we only saw the journey through the eyes of the person walking.
We watched the short movie twice. The first time, the video was accompanied by a soundtrack of “scary movie music” (think Jaws and waiting for the shark to break the water). We were all on the edge of our seats, anxious and waiting for something horrible to happen. Then we were shown the video again. This time the music was bright and happy. Watching the video, I noticed the sunny day and the beauty of the woods. It was peaceful and I wanted to be there. I wanted to BE the person walking down the trail. Music changed the mood and created a completely different experience. The music MADE the movie.
Think about it. Music can touch us in powerful ways. A certain song can transport us instantly to a different time or place. Music can elevate our mood. It can be incredibly motivating (think about the theme song from Rocky). Music can relax us and even help us slow down our heart rate.
Belting out the right song can be a great way to work out our anger (Alannis Morrisette anyone?), our hurt, our sorrow or our determination (I knew a woman who prepared to defend her doctoral dissertation by listening to Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive). Music can soothe us. The right music can feed our soul.
An IPod or mp3 player is a great way to carry a library of music with you and make it instantly accessible. I have this Zune but the teeny-tiny green iPod Shuffle has also caught my eye. Listening to the music on my mp3 player can instantly change how I feel when I run and can make doing boring paperwork a peaceful and enjoyable experience.
Think about it. How and when could you use music to enhance your life, decrease your stress, and maybe even reduce your urges to overeat?
Take good care,