On Music and Mental health

By: Revati Raja, MSC

One of the hardest parts of communicating and connecting with your emotions is not knowing how to reach out to others and explain exactly why you don’t feel alright as well as feeling ashamed for being human and vulnerable.

This is also a huge reason why alot of people dont reach out for mental health support. A large cause of suicide is a sense of mental paralysis that stops you from facing and connecting with and resolving the pain inside.

 The key factors involved in the decision to take your life involve, feeling too overwhelmed by a traumatic experience and strongly believing that suicide is the only way to end your pain. So really in that moment, you want the pain to end, not your life.

Through the practice of self-compassion in therapy, clients learn to develop compassion toward themselves and toward others around them. A little empathy and compassion can go a long way in making you feel less alone. The question then becomes, how do we find a tool to release our emotions when our feelings seem too hard to explain and practice self compassion?

Awareness is one such tool. And awareness often develops more in fluid rather than crystallised spaces, gentle fluid spaces like music where our emotions can flow without judgement from ourselves and others.

Are you aware of what music calms you?  What music triggers emotions you’re not yet ready for but could bring yourself to face in the warm embrace of a melody? What music helps you get closer to yourself? What music brings you inner peace?

My observations through my years working as a mental health professional is that the combination of music and therapy can do wonders to heal the human mind and help it grow fundamentally. I have often used rhythms and melodies to help my clients express emotions that they can’t put into words. While music is certainly not a substitute for therapy, it helps you connect with and respect your vulnerability as a human being which is key to benefitting from the process of therapy.

Be aware of the tools you have at your disposal so that you can channel your inner power through truly the most powerful fluid tool for a healthy mind – music. Today is about prevention and the first step towards prevention is awareness. Suicide is not the answer.

“When you’re down and troubled

And you need a helping hand

And nothing, nothing is going right

Close your eyes and think of me

And soon I will be there

To brighten up even your darkest night”

(You got a friend- James Taylor)


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