You Are What You Feed Your Mind

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Remember when you were just a little kid? You could do whatever you wanted to do, and you found joy no matter what you were made to do. It was so simple and easy, but we barely remember any of it. One thing I do know, though, is that we had no opinions of our own back then. We only knew and believed what was told to us, and we walked down the path that was laid before us. So how did our individual thinking, our different opinions, and our unique reasoning come to be?

Every thought we have, every opinion we hold, and everything we say and do, culminate from the experiences we’ve gained, the sights we’ve seen, the things we’ve heard and the circumstances we’ve been in. In other words, they were formed from what we were exposed to on a regular basis. All of it made us who we are today. And sometimes, that can be quite worrisome.

If you speak to anyone, especially the youth in the world, you’ll know that almost every single one of us listens to some kind of music or the other. Those who don’t are a somewhat rare breed of human beings, at least in these times. But even then, they can’t avoid being exposed to music at some point in their lives. It’s inevitable, seeing as even shopping stores, theaters, TV commercials, and beauty salons for that matter, have music playing in the background while customers flood in and out of the place. Music is thus something we’re all exposed to – one way or another – almost every single day. And plenty of research has been done which prove that music does, in fact, affect us psychologically and physiologically.

According to psychology, our subconscious mind remembers and stores what our conscious mind doesn’t. This mostly involves the memories, feelings, emotions and experiences we face in our daily lives. Things like names, phone numbers, and all such information, are stored in the sub-conscience and are available for access at any time. In other words, everything we see and hear is received by the conscious mind, which is our current state of awareness. It is only involved with what we perceive through the five senses. This information is then stored in the sub-conscience, which then processes the information thus received. The final information is then sent to the conscious mind in the form of feedback, which we interpret as thoughts, upon which we then act. And these thoughts also direct our emotions.

To make things a bit clearer, let’s consider this example. When you see a fruit, say a strawberry, the conscious mind takes in everything that you first observe: the shape and the red colour of the fruit, and its smell. This information is then stored and processed by the subconscious mind which analyses this information and identifies the object as a strawberry, something to be eaten (based on information stored from past memories and experiences). If the person dislikes the fruit, that too will be brought forth by the subconscious mind. This information is then received by the conscious mind in the form of a thought (or memory), thereby leading one to eat or not eat the fruit.

Thus, it also controls what emotions you feel at a given moment by processing memories from the past. When such memories are brought forth, emotions evoked from it are also remembered. While the conscious mind is only at work in the present time, the subconscious is always at work. It deals with every single information brought in through the conscious mind (i.e. everything that is seen and heard) and processes and stores the new information. The subconscious mind is thus, always at work, even while we are asleep.

So, coming to the point, how does music affect our minds? When we listen to music, we may or may not pay attention to the lyrics. We may simply ‘dance to the rhythm of the beats’. However, the subconscious mind is being fed directly by the music and the lyrics, and all information thus received is constantly being stored and processed, without you even trying or knowing about it. Have you ever noticed how a certain kind of music tends to make you happy, or how sometimes, after listening to a particular song, you feel down even though you were fine until then? That’s the influence of the song on you. When you are constantly exposing your mind to happy and lively songs, you automatically feel energized, and it has the opposite effect when you’re constantly listening to sad or depressing songs all the time. One or two songs may not make a difference, but subject yourself to that long enough, and you’ll find yourself always looking at the negative things in life, constantly feeling down and out of energy (depending on what you choose to listen to). That’s the power of words, in general. Let someone put you down long enough, and you’ll also begin to believe that you’re not worth much. You can get someone to believe anything you want them to if you do it right. So these words, combined with the melancholy (suppose) music that accompanies it, can gradually change your mindset into one that focuses on the negative things in life if exposed to it long enough. The tune or music of a song is processed by that part of the brain that has to do with emotions and behavioral functions. This means that the tune of a song also plays some part in controlling your emotions and feelings. And you know what? ..everyone in the entertainment industry knows it. Everyone. It’s the ABCs of advertising and marketing.

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If you would have noticed, most of the love songs that are made these days always focus on things like sex, money, fame and revenge. It portrays love as something that’s just physical. If your mind is fed with visuals and words that only promote and glorify such things, you will eventually begin to think that way, because the subconscious mind stores and processes everything that is perceived by the conscious mind. Seeing as this triggers some emotional and physiological actions as well, you are ultimately being manipulated. Right? It’s mind-programming, plain and simple. It’s an effective tool to make a large number of people act and think the way you want them to, thus gaining popularity and fame, and in the larger scheme of things, corrupt the world.

I realize that this is an extremist’s way of looking at things, but I believe it’s important to know that the world isn’t looking out for your safety or your good. I don’t mean there’s nothing good in this world, but that there’s a lot more bad to it than is immediately seen. Haven’t you noticed that so many songs that get released nowadays are sex-driven, and only focus on physical love? And not-so-coincidentally, the divorce rates have gone up by a lot over the past few decades, and people find it so hard to stay committed in a relationship, or even make it last for more than a few years (if not months or a few days). I don’t know how far this goes, but I believe that the messages sent through most of the songs we listen to these days are devoid of innocence. They seem to either instill lust in the unsuspecting listeners, or drive them to believe that everyone and everything is useless, and ultimately evoke in them a feeling to fight back – a need for rebellion. Take the song “Wiggle” by Jason Derulo, for example. This is how it goes:

“I got one question
How do you fit all that, in them jeans?

You know what to do with that big fat butt

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Just a little bit

Patty cake patty cake
With no hands
Got me in this club making wedding plans
If I take pictures while you do your dance
I can make you famous on Instagram
Hot damn it
Your booty like two planets
Go head, and go ham sandwich
Woah, I can’t stand it”

If you think that song was about anything else but sex, then I don’t know what sense any of that made to you. Keeping aside the fact that it glorifies sex (in a way that it’s all that love is about) and so much lust, do you not notice the derogatory way in which it speaks of women? …Aren’t we just so blessed to be seen like that? We all hate and condemn rapists, don’t we? Well, what about these songs and videos that create in people a desire that drives them into doing such things in the first place? Of course, this is definitely not applicable to everyone, but I don’t think any kid started off with wanting to be a rapist. Something had to create such a lustful desire in them, and let’s face it: no parent actually teaches their children to become rapists. It was an uncontrollable desire that was triggered by something and I believe it wouldn’t be beyond reason to say this was one of those triggers, along with tv shows and movies that send the same message.

And this is just one example. There are plenty of them. Even women make songs that only showcase their bodies as something to be desired as a play thing. I won’t go into those details now, but my point is, imagine what would happen when young teenagers and adults, the target audience for such things, listen to only this kind of music and hear these lyrics sung to them over and over again. Mind you, the tunes for these songs are quite catchy. Couple these lyrics with some creepy music and you’ll never find anyone dancing and singing to it. It would be outright scary. But hey, it’s all good if you just dance to them, and ignore the lyrics, right? Wrong. As I mentioned earlier, every single thing you hear is being stored in your subconscious mind. One day or the other, you’ll become numb to these lyrics and begin to believe that it’s all okay because your mind has been programmed into accepting these things the way it is, never seeing the harm in it. And that day, my friends, is a day that I pray never comes.

But hey, it’s all good if you just dance to the music, and ignore the lyrics, right? Wrong. As I mentioned earlier, every single thing you hear is being stored in your subconscious mind. One day or the other, you’ll become numb to these lyrics and begin to believe that it’s all okay because your mind has been programmed into accepting these things the way it is, never seeing the harm in it. And that day, my friends, is a day I pray never comes.