How you can use mindfulness meditation music to de-stress and calm the mind

Most of us have enough free time and opportunity to focus on our happiness but unfortunately, we’re still more stressed than ever.

I want to share a way you can use mindfulness meditation music to help calm the mind and redirect ourselves towards more useful and empowering things.

Even though I create beautiful relaxing audio stories I’m still prone to stress and even depression at times.

I have noticed though that whenever I either work on some new music or simply listen to one of my favorite artists, something in my brain changes.

You may not know this but recording and producing music is essentially a form of mindfulness that involves sound.

The quality of your work is directly connected, not only to your training and technical prowess but to your ability to listen with every fiber of your being. Being an audio engineer for over 15 years and being paid to use your ears exclusively has meant a significant change in my sensitivity to sound and particularly music.

How to use mindfulness meditation music to de-stress de-clutter and calm your mind

Here are some simple things you can do with music that will help to calm the mind and dispel stress.

The first thing you need to do is:

1. Find the right music

It has to be spacious without being boring or overly simplistic. It’s important that it also have a strong melodic theme without being too strident. And despite the massive amount of music in the world this is quite a difficult combination to find.

By far the best example of this that I have come across is the genius soundtrack composer Vangelis.

Being a composer myself I can offer some excellent choices from my own collection:

Embrace The Moment – Instrumental world music. 
Khora – Soundtrack music.
Lunar Khandro – Beautifully ambient relaxation music.

Here is a track from the album Khora that works beautifully as a meditation.

Indian Dream — Herrin

2. Prepare the space

Ideally you need to be alone somewhere with a relative amount of silence. Find a spot where you can lie down or sit comfortably.

Silence is the backing track to all great music. Good music provides space for you, the listener.

3. Have a good sound system

You can use headphones but most these days are not very comfortable or of a very good sound quality. Plus there’s nothing like a great pair of speakers filling the room with beautiful sound.

You can find some good tips on getting a good home sound system here.

4. Create a playlist

Prepare a playlist or an album you can play from start to finish without any moments that will jolt you out of a calm state of mind.

5. Just listen

This is the most important point of all.

Even heavy metal can be a kind of meditation if you stop and commit all of your attention. Resist the urge to do anything else at the same time. Too many people use music as a kind of backing track rather than a real in the moment awareness.

By engaging in the simple act of listening you become a part of the music.

The other great thing about this practice is that the sound replaces any internal dialogue we might have going on.

Sit, stand or lie down, put the music on and just listen.

Allow yourself to pay attention to the details of the music.

You can practice shifting your attention from one instrument to another. If that seems too technical, just allow the entire spectrum of sound to fill your mind and draw you in completely.

This is where the quality of the music itself becomes crucial.

Great music is like a vacuum that draws you inexorably into its sphere of influence.

This is something that audio engineers and music producers understand as a daily experience. But why should every day music lovers miss out?

By using these mindfulness meditation music exercises you can engage the power of sound to focus and calm your mind whenever you’re feeling stressed or agitated.

Then you can come back to the issue with a renewed sense of calm or inspiration. Or in some cases, you may find you are able to just let it go…

Music is a powerful medium that can help us to transcend our perceived limitations, but only if we commit to true listening.


Originally published at herrin.com.au on April 13, 2016.