229: Repost: Using music to change your mental state

229: Repost: Using music to change your mental state

Welcome to this episode of our short daily podcast - A Slice of Therapy.

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With Alun Parry https://liverpoolpsychotherapy.co.uk

Automatically Generated Transcript

00:01
you’re listening to a slice of therapy
00:03
with me alun parry
00:06
[Music]
00:12
a few episodes ago i did an episode on
00:15
this podcast which was
00:17
called what happens to your body when
00:20
you don’t feel safe
00:22
and um i’m going to be talking about
00:24
some of the ideas in there
00:26
so you might want to listen to that to
00:27
get a fuller idea but
00:30
it basically explained how our nervous
00:31
system is split into three
00:33
different sections if you like there’s
00:36
three different parts to it
00:38
there’s the kind of okay part when we
00:40
just sat there happily chatting to a
00:42
friend
00:43
we feel safe we feel that everything’s
00:45
okay
00:46
and then we move to fight or flight if
00:49
we feel
00:50
threatened in some way we get very
00:52
activated
00:53
as though we’re gonna run away or fight
00:56
a monster
00:57
and the third one is when we’re still
01:00
feeling unsafe and we haven’t solved the
01:01
problem we go into
01:02
shutdown and
01:06
in that episode i was asking questions
01:09
around
01:09
you know what helps you to feel safe
01:13
and i’m going to dig into that a little
01:14
bit deeper into this episode
01:17
because there’s many things that can
01:18
invite us into safety or
01:21
invite us into a different state
01:24
from the one that we’re currently in so
01:26
we might be shut down and want to get to
01:28
a different state or we might be very
01:30
agitated and want to just calm ourselves
01:33
down
01:34
and one of the very very powerful ways
01:37
that we can do that
01:40
which you’ll see at any kind of family
01:43
wedding party
01:45
is music i say family wedding party
01:49
because
01:49
you’ll sometimes see people sitting
01:51
there
01:53
you know with not a lot of activity in
01:56
them
01:56
maybe looking a bit glum as the night
01:59
wears on
02:00
you know and it’s like 20 to 10 and
02:02
they’ve been
02:03
there all day and then suddenly a song
02:06
comes on the next minute their eyes are
02:08
wide
02:10
and they’re up out of their seat and
02:11
they’re they’re dancing onto the dance
02:14
floor
02:15
and this is the power of music to change
02:18
our state
02:20
and so there are certain songs which
02:23
will really
02:25
get us moving again and you know from a
02:28
shutdown state just a gentle return to
02:31
energy is really helpful
02:33
and there are certain songs especially
02:35
ones with happy lyrics and a beat
02:38
when they’re on and playing your body
02:40
really can’t help your muscles can’t
02:42
help but just tense into the beat
02:45
and it provides that gentle retained
02:47
energy
02:48
return to energy rather which kind of
02:51
moves us
02:52
away from that shutdown place and back
02:55
into engagement with the world
02:59
and by the same token when we’re feeling
03:02
agitated and activated and
03:04
anxious and stressed and we’re really
03:06
wanting to calm down
03:08
for a certain kind of music that invites
03:11
that as well
03:13
now steven porges who was the research
03:16
scientist who
03:17
came up with the uh you know who
03:19
discovered the fact that there were
03:21
these three different parts of our
03:23
nervous system
03:25
he has a saying where he says
03:29
that the autonomic nervous system which
03:31
is what i’m talking about
03:33
is crying out for johnny mathis
03:37
he said now i don’t know whether you’ve
03:40
heard johnny mathis before it’s probably
03:43
only for listeners of a certain age like
03:45
myself who remember johnny mathis
03:47
but he had a kind of um
03:51
a high voice i suppose and um
03:55
what you might call a prosodic voice now
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prosodic voice is one that goes
04:01
up and down you know the kind of um
04:04
the kind of voice i suppose that you
04:06
might hear someone
04:09
talking to when they’re talking to their
04:11
dog or their baby
04:13
you know they go hello there hello
04:18
and in that sort of prosodic voice it’s
04:20
very calming to us
04:22
it’s that kind of social engagement that
04:23
brings us back to safety and you find it
04:25
in music
04:27
so one place that i find it in music
04:30
which is really soothing
04:32
is in a lot of the disney songs and the
04:35
one in particular
04:37
um is mary poppins so if you listen to
04:40
the mary poppins
04:42
soundtrack it is actually very soothing
04:45
and
04:46
when one’s feeling anxious and stressed
04:49
and activated
04:50
it really is quite calming another piece
04:53
of music whether you’re a fan of her
04:55
music or not it has the same effect
04:57
according to
04:58
at least one study it’s the music of
05:01
enya now the music of enya
05:05
is just very soothing for the nervous
05:07
system so even if you’re not a fan
05:10
of enya even if you don’t like hair work
05:13
your nervous system kind of likes it
05:17
in fact there was a study done and hair
05:18
song only time was the
05:21
was the song that had the biggest impact
05:24
in terms of
05:25
calming people down
05:29
but you know music is a personal thing
05:31
and i’m guessing that it’s going to be
05:32
different
05:34
for you than for others you know it can
05:37
be unique to you and so i’m just curious
05:40
what are the songs when you’re feeling
05:41
kind of quite shut down and you don’t
05:43
really want to engage with the world or
05:44
you’re tired or whatever
05:46
and this song comes on and it kind of
05:49
gets you going again
05:51
it kind of uh it kind of rouses you back
05:54
into the world back into engagement what
05:57
are those songs for you
05:58
if you had to build a playlist
06:02
what are the tunes that would be on that
06:04
playlist where the aim was to get you
06:07
out of that shutdown state
06:09
into something a bit more bouncy
06:12
and by the same token what are the what
06:15
are the pieces of music what are the
06:17
songs what the tunes that kind of calm
06:19
you down
06:20
when you’re feeling a little bit
06:22
agitated when you’ve had a stressful day
06:24
and you just
06:26
ah you just put that song on or that
06:28
piece of music
06:31
let me just invite you back to a nice
06:34
safe calm place
06:37
that might be mary poppins soundtrack it
06:39
might be enya
06:41
for me often it’s george gershwin’s
06:43
rhapsody in blue
06:46
what is it for you what would your
06:49
more peaceful more calm soundtrack be
06:54
and the reason why this is quite an
06:55
important thing is because
06:57
when we change our state we change our
06:59
story
07:00
we change our story about ourself and we
07:03
change our story about the world
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i’ve done this many times with clients
07:08
you know i’ve
07:09
i’ve helped them map out their nervous
07:12
system
07:13
in the various states that we operate
07:14
within that nervous system
07:17
and ask them just to identify how they
07:20
view themselves and the world
07:23
from that particular state and as the
07:25
state changes
07:27
so the story does so when things are
07:30
unsafe and we’re shut down we tell quite
07:32
a pessimistic
07:33
pessimistic story about ourselves
07:36
like the world is futile or
07:39
i’m stupid and incapable
07:43
and then when we bring ourselves back to
07:45
that safety again
07:48
the story just changes we don’t have to
07:50
work on it the story just changes it’s
07:53
like i’m okay
07:54
you know i’m capable the world is full
07:57
of
07:57
good stuff the world has resources in it
08:03
and so by changing our state
08:07
and using music to change our state
08:10
it can often change the way we’re
08:11
actually thinking about the world too
08:15
so that’s my question to you if you want
08:17
to go from shutdown to
08:19
more bouncy and engaged what’s the
08:21
playlist of songs that would do that for
08:23
you
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and if you’re a bit too bouncy and
08:26
feeling anxious and agitated
08:29
what’s the other playlist that will
08:30
bring you back to
08:32
ah calm and relaxed
08:36
and safe again
08:40
now if you’ve liked the ideas in this
08:41
podcast you may want to work with me in
08:44
person
08:44
my name’s alun parry you can find me at
08:47
liverpool psychotherapy.co.uk
08:50
and you can work with me in person or
08:52
you can work with me online
08:54
so you don’t have to be local we could
08:56
still work together if you think
08:57
that would be good for you and if you’ve
08:59
enjoyed the podcast then
09:01
thanks for listening and please do share
09:03
it with friends
09:04
and family and anybody else who you
09:07
think
09:08
would like it that’s the idea isn’t it
09:11
so i’ll see you on the next podcast
09:13
tomorrow and until then
09:15
thanks for listening and tatty bye

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