Do you ever listen to music and feel the hairs on your arm or neck standing up? Perhaps it makes you feel like crying? It may mean that you have a strong connection between specific parts of your brain.
Right now I’m listening to one of my favorite songs as I write this. I tend to get either joyous waves or chills depending on what I may be relating the song to as I listen. More on this below.
What is triggering this feeling?
Matthew Sachs, a former undergraduate at Harvard, decided he wanted to find out why people got chills when they would listen to music and what might be triggering this feeling.
His research experiment took a look at 20 students and their feelings when listening to music. 10 students admitted to feeling chills or having goosebumps when they hear music. The other 10 did not. Brain scans were taken of all 20 students and the results were analyzed.
Of the 10 who had stated they experience strong emotional connection to music and felt ‘chills’ when listening, displayed a different brain structure than those who claimed to not experience ‘chills’ when listening to music.
Part of the brain that processes emotions
The area of the brain in question here is that of the auditory cortex and those that process emotions. What was found was that those who experienced the feeling of ‘chills’ while listening to music had denser or stronger fibres connecting the areas of the brain in question. This means that the two areas can communicate better.
“The idea being that more fibers and increased efficiency between two regions means that you have more efficient processing between them.”
In audio engineering school I learned fibres, cables, or wiring is like having a thick smoothie in front of you and having different straw choices. You have a thin straw or a thick one, which one can you more easily drink the smoothie from? This is the same with audio cables sending data or sound. The same seems to be in the theory discussed above. The denser the fibre, the easier it is to send the energy, or data, from one area of the brain to the other.
What Do The Chills Mean?
While it’s not 100% clear, they may mean you have a more intense connection to feeling emotions. It may also mean that your memories linked to a certain songs may be strong.
All in all, our emotions are physical experiences triggered by something our mind believes. Often times it is a belief system or program we have associated with an experience or how to feel about it that triggers a specific emotion. Thus, different people can feel different emotions about the same experience, as it’s based on a belief about the experience.
Although Sachs’ study was very small in size, he is currently working to conduct further research to explore the brains activity when listening to songs that register certain reactions. He hopes to physically discover what causes these reactions and potentially determine treatment for psychological disorders based on these findings.
Because depression causes an inability to experience pleasure of everyday life, music can be used to help provide therapy to those suffering.
Even if you do not experience strong emotions from listening to music, the exploration into connecting to our emotions and understanding them is key. Emotions simply tell us more about ourselves inside. And while we may experience a certain emotion about something at one time, this doesn’t mean we will always experience that emotion, or any at all, about that experience.
In fact, beyond emotions is a state of peace that we sometimes can confuse for emotions. I have found that when I am feeling my absolute best, I am experiencing a state of being that is pure peace, pure love and beyond emotions. This isn’t to say I don’t feel emotions in those times, but it’s a connection into knowing what’s beyond the physical experience of an emotion.
I have always found that emotions are a reference point that allow us to experience something more deeply and intently. And when we examine what that means about ourselves, we gain a greater sense of self awareness.
Given that some of us often feel very disconnected in our lives and given how much of the population experiences depression, it’s not all that surprising that even in a small group that Sachs studied, 50% did not report experiencing that connection with music.
What would come from humanity having greater connection to our emotions and understanding them?
Would they not drive us and take over as much when we did experience them? Might we be able to understand why we get angry at times and perhaps explore how to move past those triggers and lessen suffering? After all, why do some of us get mad at an experience while another doesn’t? Why do some of us feel upset at being called a name while others don’t? And do you notice those who don’t get upset rarely get called names? Do we attract the experiences that can help us learn more about ourselves?
These are all deeper questions that I believe can help move us beyond suffering induced by our lack of awareness of our emotions and why they can be triggered. That said, emotions are not a bad thing by any means, they are incredible. They allow us to enrich our experience ten fold at times. I simply feel we are being challenged to not be driven so intensely by our emotions.
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To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
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Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
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Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
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5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.