If you think ambient music is boring, think again. Even if you find yourself not really listening to those slow, dreamy tracks you hear in shopping malls and yoga studios, you should know that even when you are not paying attention they are helping you to relax.
Electronic music DJs have long known that the beats per minute (bpm) of a track can have direct effects on those listening to it. In clubs, music generally starts at a low bpm, before building into ever faster and faster rhythms, and the heart beats of the listeners follows along.
The same is true for chilled out, ambient music. Listen to a slow piece of music, and your heart beat will automatically adjust to match it. As your heartbeat slows, so will your breathing, helping you to relax both body and mind.
You can use ambient music for relaxation in a huge variety of situations, but before I take you through them it is worth thinking about a few things.
First, find the kind of music you like. Listening to a piece of music, even ambient music, which you find annoying is obviously not going to relax you, but quite the opposite. Thankfully, there are now so many artists and labels producing ambient music that after a bit of searchin you should have no trouble finding a style that you actually enjoy.
Secondly, get a good stereo. Poor quality audio can also affect your enjoyment of ambient music. Ideally, you want to be able to hear all the nuances of the music you have chosen, without hissing speakers or distorted noise. This is especially important if you are using music to meditate, because nothing will jerk you out of your blissed-out state quicker than a glitch on your stereo.
Once you’ve found the perfect piece of music, and have a stereo that you can comfortably listen to it through, ambient music can be used for relaxation in a variety of ways:
- If you meditate, next time try putting on a piece of music. Expert meditation practitioners say that having a relaxing soundtrack to your inner exploration can really aid concentration and improve your experience of meditation.
- If you have trouble sleeping, ambient music can also help. There are even special types and pieces of music designed for drfiting off this ambient music matches the rythms of natural sleep, meaning that you will sleep more deeply and better whilst it is playing.
- You can also try playing music during and after meals. Having a slow piece of music playing means that you are less likely to rush through your food, and to help you take a break to digest, both of which have great health benefits.
- Even when you are working, ambient music can help you concentrate. This is partly because if you are realxed you will work better, but also because finding the right rhythm to work to is just as important as when sleeping or meditating.
In short, in any situation where you need to relax, ambient music can be a real help.