THE ROLE OF MUSIC IN PSYCHOLOGY
USING A 'MECHANICAL' WAY TO INCREASE HAPPINESS
DISPLACES BRAIN 'STATIC'
Music occupies the brain a bit, so that the random thoughts of worry are diminished through displacement.
RHYTHMIC EFFECT ON THE BODY
If it is easy listening music, its rhythm causes a harmonious reaction in calming the mind and body.
TOGETHER: MORE PEACE OF MIND
Those two effects together are significant in terms of creating more peace of mind.
REDUCES BRAIN'S EMERGENCY RESPONSE SYSTEMS REACTIVITY
By creating more peace of mind, limiting negative thinking to some degree, and providing some comfort, it has a direct effect on reducing the size and overreactivity of the brain's emergency center (amygdala) - and thereby diminishing our fear levels.
REINFORCES POSITIVE THOUGHT PATTERNS
But part of the effect of music can produce a happy feeling directly, if we select inspiring songs and listen to their message, we are reinforcing our positive thought patterns (neuronal pathways) in an actual physical enhancement of the brain's left prefrontal cortex (the happiness center and the one that screens out stupid, negative or nonsense thoughts - automatically!). .
AT TIMES, ALSO 'JOY'
As I listen to Pandora Radio, to my mix of selected styles and artists, I stop, focus, and enjoy them once in a while. Even once in a while, something strikes a chord in me (so to speak!) and I feel this incredibly happy feeling, like joy, and it's often about the miracle of life, its beauty, and/or what I am grateful for.
MAKE THIS A 'PRACTICE'
Since we have enough room in our minds to work and to listen to music at the same time, I'd recommend always having easy listening music on - to calm the mind, yes, but also when it displaces negative thoughts that my brain might have repeated, those thoughts are no longer reinforced physically in my neuronal patterns, so they are weaker than they would be otherwise. (This is not some "miraculous" claim I am making to sell some snake oil. It is simple mechanical fact.)
This is a mechanical effect that doesn't take any effort or psychoanalyzing to get a benefit from.
Use this principle/practice to improve your life and happiness, as a supplement to your other learning and enhancements.