In short, music can free your mind so you can do anything from dancing with fear to get stuff done.
“Music can pierce the heart directly; it needs no mediation,” wrote Sacks. Like laughter, it is intuited — it needs no further explanation.
There’s something instinctive about music that tugs directly at the heart. It needs little if no processing. As the plants tilt toward the sun, so to do the ears.
“Language is used every day, and easily becomes shopworn, and it takes a poet to recall it to its freshness, its ability to embody eudaimonistic insights in a meaningful way. Music is not as shopworn, and thus may cut straight to the heart.”
The time you spend away from your task still qualifies as work. That includes doing the dishes, running errands, and taking care of the kids—whatever responsibilities you think to impede your central occupation contribute to its success.
British novelist Jon McGregor gives a good example of how he manages his writing despite making time for everything from Tweeting to taking care of his children.
“I rarely manage a whole unbroken day at the desk. And it can be frustrating, sometimes. Once or twice a year I manage to get away somewhere and live like a hermit for a week, eating and sleeping next to a desk and talking to no one and getting a lot of work done. Imagine if I could work like that all the time, I think, then. Think how productive I’d be! But if my life was always like that, I suspect I’d have very little to write about.”
Locking yourself away in isolation is a forlorn attempt to escape all that matters. Patterns can backfire, especially when it comes to creativity which thrives on observation and sudden randomness.
There is a time for everything
While productivity can be messy, time away from work is not squandered time. Instead, it is spent accumulating experiences and visualizing how the ideas you’re chewing on will all come to focus when you sit down in and commit to the day ahead.
The discipline of work is just as necessary as the chaotic daily tasks of life. In fact, the best things in life often disrupt it, forcing you to rethink priorities and see how it all connects.
Social media is the story we want to tell about ourselves. It is the edited self.
The problem occurs when that ideal self fails to match up with the real one. Can we live up to the image and credentials minted in our LinkedIn profile?
Fake it until you make it?
We paint our social media feeds with fantasies and hang them like pictures on a wall. For some people, it’s like directing and starring in their own movie. For others, sharing can make them feel like they have to be more accountable in real life. It’s a chance to match in action what our thumbs project in our profiles.
The internet is a chance to choose ourselves. We don’t need permission to post. As dehumanizing as it sounds, everyone can be their own brand without losing a sense of self.
The butterfly has to come out of the cocoon and face the music eventually.
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter — they all work like any other placebo. They inspire us to be our best self. The only hope is that we can match the narrative on the other side of the screen.
One of the main benefits of walking in nature is that trees inspire feelings of awe. According to research done by psychology professor Dacher Keltner at UC Berkeley, awe benefits not only the mind and body but also improves our social connections and makes us kinder.
Spending time outside is also vital as a de-stressor. One study found that camping gets the stress hormone cortisol back under control. Even sitting near trees at the office help calm us down with “softly fascinating stimulation.”
Spending time outside has many benefits including improving short-term memory, sparking creativity, lowering blood pressure, reducing fatigue, strengthening focus and more.
Nature is a higher power
Knowing how little we stand in a swathe of gigantic trees also puts life in perspective. Wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay Nature:
“Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God.”
Nature soothes the sense of self. It reminds us that we are less significant we are, and that fact may make us happier we’re here.
There is no doubt that the mind changes as it ages. You’ll be a different person in your 20s, 30s, and so on.
For some, brain deterioration is genetic. While you can’t medicate mental problems away, you can upgrade your internal software by widening your perception and controlling your emotions to so-called triggers.
The human brain is plastic
Strengthening the operating system protects against the destructive forces of sensory stimulants that try to undermine chemical synchronicity. Knowing that you can gauge your reactions to uncertainty while strengthening the bonds between neurons and synaptic connections helps alleviate anxiety’s thinking problem.
Babies are born platform agnostic; it’s mostly the environment that shapes their internal compass as they grow into adults. Health, philosophy, and social behaviors produce an entire ecosystem of choices where balancing the right springs and gears to maintain the human clock is the key, per say.