Are You “Stuck”? Music May Be Your Answer…
Look, I’ve been there too. In Stuckville.
You’re trying to start a new project or keep pushing through when you’re not feeling inspired and suddenly you ground to a screeching halt.
You’re stuck in mud – creative juices have dried up, energy is sapped and motivation is around your ankles. You’re just feeling blah about it all.
LOOKING FOR ANSWERS
It’s likely that you’ll scour the internet for advice, tips, hacks or even try to find some magical fairy dust to get you unstuck and into action.
Do you still sometimes find yourself stuck after all that? Yeah, me too.
But I have an answer…well lots of them to be honest…songs, tunes, jams… MUSIC!
Sometimes when we’re stuck, the last thing we need is more information, more words, more theories. We get overloaded, and all we actually need is to a little break from it.
Music has the ability to help us tap into another part of us. It can trigger flow and feelings and release endorphins to lift your mood. It has the power to move you from stasis into action.
MUSIC & US
World renowned neuroscientist and musician, Daniel Levitin, is a pre-eminent expert on how music affects us as human beings. He literally wrote a book on it and more recently worked with Sonos to research into how people’s behaviours are affected by music at home.
Levitin talks about different brain modes, and of particular note to this post, the ‘mind wandering mode’. In an interview with Fast Company earlier this year, he explained this as… “the idea that the brain has this whole separate mode of existing where you’re not in control of your thoughts and they’re loosely connected from one to the next”.
In terms of what to do when feeling overloaded, he suggests not to “double down” and keep pushing on, or browsing or staring at a screen, but to try and help your brain get into ‘mind-wandering mode’. In doing so, you will restore some neurochemicals that were depleted through focused activity.
One of the ways we can get into mind-wandering mode, alongside things like taking a walk in nature, cooking or looking at art, is to listen to music.
MUSIC & ME
Despite having an almost comedic inability to remember song lyrics, music is extremely important to me. We always have something playing in the background in our Mavericks Unlimited office or when I'm on my commute, I use it to help me create or power through work.
I definitely use music when I'm stuck, and for me, there are a few songs that will always get me going again. They're either songs I've just always loved, or connect me to a particular time and place or ones that just get my energy going.
Take a look at a specially created Spotify playlist I made. The tracks are important to me and probably won't be to everyone's palettes, but the important point is that they affect me in positive ways that shift my mood. They allow me to 'mind wander'...usually at some point thinking of myself as the frontman of one of the bands...!
MUSIC & YOU
So next time you're feeling stuck, instead of pushing ahead and trying the same old things, why not crank up one of your favourite tunes? What songs/albums/artists always hit the notes (yes, intended pun) for you?
Of course, whilst I have focused this post on music, it doesn't just have to be that. Use anything that can help you get into the 'wandering mind' mode and see what occurs from there.