Iâ€™m working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyoneâ€™s project will look different, but itâ€™s the rare person who canâ€™t benefit. Join in â€” no need to catch up, just jump in right now. Each Fridayâ€™s post will help you think about your own happiness project.
Research demonstrates â€“ and everyday experience confirms â€“ that one of the simplest, easiest ways to boost your mood and your energy is to listen to your favorite upbeat music. Music can have an enormous influence on your state of mind (of course, it can make you feel melancholy as well as happy). In fact, studies show that listening to a choice of music during medical procedures can lower a patientâ€™s heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety level.
So, if youâ€™re feeling blue, put on some of your favorite cheerful music. It can have a quick and dramatic effect. Itâ€™s a particularly useful strategy when you feel exhausted or overwhelmed; tackling a nagging task boosts happiness, too, but itâ€™s not the same kind of quick fix.
I experienced this phenomenon this morning. One thing that Iâ€™ve accepted about myself, as I follow my Personal Commandment to Be Gretchen, is that I donâ€™t have much appreciation for music. I wish I enjoyed music more, but I donâ€™t.
I rarely listen to music; sometimes I wear my iPod when Iâ€™m exercising, but not often. Every once in a while, though, I fixate on a song I really love.
This morning, for some reason, I thought of an old favorite as I was helping my younger daughter get dressed for school. Sheâ€™s on an audiobook kick, so she hasnâ€™t been listening to music much, but I pulled out Laurie Berknerâ€™s terrific CD Buzz Buzz
and skipped ahead to my favorite song, â€œThereâ€™s a Little Wheel A-Turninâ€™ in My Heart.â€