The conceptual framework for a man's search for meaning

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Music can tell you about your personality

December 19th, 2015 by dimpledbrain

According to one research, we are exposed to music for nearly 20% of our waking lives. That’s like approximately 82K hours of music assuming you live for 70 years and sleep 8 hours per day. (70 years of life is about 600K hours of life).

Which of the following describes your taste in music?

(1) You prefer mellow music that has low energy, sad emotions and emotional depth. E.g. R&B, soft rock and singer songwriter genre.

(2) You prefer intense music or music with intellectual depth and complexity. E.g. hard rock, punk, heavy metal and avant-garde classical genres.

#1 is called Type E (Empathisers). You have a strong interest in people’s thoughts and emotions.

#2 is called Type S (Systemisers). You have a strong interest in patterns, systems and rules that govern the world.

#3 is the confused/ balanced type of the 2 types above.

The key benefits of listening to music can be divided into 2 categories:

(1) Physical – e.g. ease pain, increase workout endurance, improve motivation and performance

(2) Mental – e.g. reduce stress, relieve depression, elevate mood, reduce anxiety and elicit relaxation.

On a separate note, you might recall from your primary school science something called ‘brain waves‘. Our brain consists of billions of neurons in different parts of our brain that use electricity to communicate with each other. These ‘communications’ between neurons form our thoughts, emotions and behaviours. Brain waves are nothing more than synchronized electrical pulses (fired by synapses, which is nothing more than a toll booth between 2 neurons) from masses of neurons communicating with each other. Brain waves can be detected using EEG.

Of the more important and known brain waves to us:

(1) Delta waves – slowest wave, occur during our deepest sleep

(2) Theta waves –  occur during sleep and also during the deepest state of Zen meditation

(3) Alpha waves – occur when our brain is idle/relaxed and also when we meditate

(4) Beta waves – occur in our waking state when we are attentive

(5) Gamma waves – not fully understood at the moment. Linked to peak concentration and higher state of mental functioning.

Meditation (done by those monks thousands of years before) will produce noticeably more alpha waves (meaning beneficial). Nature sounds e.g. ocean wave and rain sound have high alpha waves. Wonder why you feel relaxed when you are back to nature?

So given our lifetime exposure to music, we should tap into it for our benefit:

(1) understand our thinking personality style by the type of music we like (Empathisers, Systemisers or Balanced)

(2) listen to more music

(3) expose ourselves to alpha/theta waves through artificial sound, nature sounds and meditation.


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