We have a very relaxed afternoon routine at my house. There’s a good chunk of time for quiet reading, naps for the littlest one, and focused work time for me. Eventually the kids may wander outside to play in the backyard.
But when chore time rolls around, we are not necessarily eager and enthusiastic about getting around to work. Sigh. That includes me. When I’m being intentional, I’ll take note of this and do the one thing that is guaranteed to lift our moods, make the work go twice as fast and put a smile on everyone’s face: I crank up the volume on some music.
Once the music is playing, there is a palpable shift in the home atmosphere.
The kids are happier, grouchiness melts away and life just seems a little better. Nothing else has changed; we’re just getting a little extra input while we work. But it makes all the difference. Isn’t that an amazing thing?
What is it about music that can change our moods on a dime?
According to Discovery, listening to music releases dopamine in your brain which causes you to feel good. It’s like an anti-depressant and a cup of coffee all at once with no unwanted side effects.
Also, if you’re doing something fairly mindless, listening to music gives you something else to focus on and the time goes by much more quickly.
What kind of mood do you want to create?
You can get fancy and tailor your music to the mood you’re looking for.
- Want your kids to move faster in the mornings? Play something exciting or fast-moving – how about the William Tell Overture (aka the Lone Ranger theme)?
- Need your kids to settle down and do their homework? How about a quieter instrumental, maybe some Schumann piano music, or laid back jazz?
- Are your kids going bonkers right before dinner? Help them to organize their thoughts and put a smile back on their faces with some sing-along favorites.
- Over-tired baby? Help her relax with a gentle lullaby.
Even if you don’t own all the music you want, you can still have access to it at your fingertips.
It’s so easy to create your own stations on Pandora with different activities in mind. Just type in a few keywords and you have your own customized radio station.
Of course you have to listen to the right kind of music.
Blaring Bryan Adams songs aren’t going to produce pleasant smiles and giggles from your children (although if you enjoy them, it may help you get through a workout faster). Ahem.
Everyone gets grumpy now and then.
Instead of yelling, pleading or coaxing your kids to do what they need to do, try combating pre-dinner crabby-ness and early-morning slow pokes with some music to get everyone back on track. They will be tapping their toes in no time.