Music is a source of entertainment. Right?
It is often thought to be so. However, you can boost your focus and concentration with music. It is a potent tool to do so, says Harvard neuroscientist and brain researcher, Srini Pillay.
In his pursuit of understanding the influence of music on our cognitive abilities, Dr Pillay has uncovered a simple yet profound truth. He says that there is no one-size-fits-all genre of music when it comes to harnessing the power of music to sharpen our attention.
Instead, Pillay's research highlights the importance of familiar music. He highlights that familiar songs that hold a special place in your hearts and minds, can work wonders in helping you concentrate.
These familiar tunes engage various regions of our brain, providing a full-bodied focus experience.
So, here is the important part. If you are singing along or tapping into the rhythm of familiar songs, it can make the task at hand feel effortless to you.
Pillay stresses the importance of curating the right playlist for different scenarios. He offers different suggestions.
When you seek an outlet for your anger, Eminem's "Lose Yourself" might be the perfect choice.
If you navigate moments of sadness and loss, Albinoni's "Adagio in G Minor" can offer solace to your distraught soul.
If you are going through moments of agitation, Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" may do the trick for you.
And, when you are faced with stress, soothing tracks like Miley Cyrus' "Flowers" or Jason Aldean's "Big Green Tractor" can provide relief.
However, it's crucial to avoid overindulgence, as research suggests that our listening pleasure follows a U-shaped curve. Initial enjoyment may peak, but excessive exposure can diminish its benefits.
For those seeking to enhance learning, Pillay recommends "soft-fast" music, such as Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" or Beyoncé's "Love on Top." These melodies are conducive to absorbing new information.
However, "loud-fast," "soft-slow," and "loud-slow" music can hinder the learning process. Instrumental music, devoid of lyrics, tends to be less distracting.
The science behind music's impact on focus lies in its ability to reduce stress and cortisol levels, enabling our brain's focus centres to operate smoothly. However, Pillay advises caution when selecting emotionally charged music, as it can disrupt concentration.
Srini Pillay's research underscores the personal nature of music's influence on focus. Familiar tunes, carefully chosen, have the potential to alleviate stress, evoke emotions, and amplify cognitive abilities.
So, the next time when you need to knuckle down and concentrate, consider crafting a playlist of your favorite familiar tracks – your brain will appreciate it.
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