Does Listening to Music or Meditating Really Help with Concentration?

Joe Weinlick
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Meditation is a helpful practice for many different activities. Learning to meditate effectively on a regular basis is challenging for some people because of the stress and distraction they deal with day to day. The benefits of meditation, however, are so useful that it's worth taking to time to learn how to do it correctly and to add it as a scheduled part of each day.

Relaxation, better focus and concentration are some of the most sought-after benefits of meditation. Concentration also is a skill many people believe they must have in order to start meditating. This is true to some extent, but concentration doesn't have to involve sitting completely still for an extended time. Meditation, contrary to popular belief, can take place in many different forms. A person sitting on the floor with knees bent, legs crossed, palms up and eyes closed is the image that is often associated with meditation. Assuming this position is a traditional and valid form of meditation, but so is taking a leisurely walk, swimming laps or listening to music. The practice of using music for concentration and meditation may seem counterintuitive, but it can be quite effective. The main goal of effective meditation is not to get the mind to stop thinking altogether. The purpose of meditation is to get the mind so focused on something that it is distracted from the stressful background chatter of random thoughts. Using a favorite hobby, exercise or music for concentration in this way helps one easily access the benefits of meditation.

Listening to music can help with concentration, but it's important to note that the type of music plays an important part in the effectiveness of that activity. Extremely loud music or songs with popular or familiar lyrics aren't always the best choices for experiencing the benefits of meditation and better concentration. The danger is that instead of concentrating on the task at hand, the lure of familiarity may simply prompt a sing-along session. Alternatively, the best music selections for concentration purposes are instrumental pieces or songs with lyrics in a foreign language. Some musical genres popular with people who need long stretches of uninterrupted concentration or study time are classical, jazz and folk.

Anyone can experience the benefits of meditation, but an effective strategy for good concentration varies from person to person. Take the time to find out what types of concentration exercises are most useful. It's also important to find a routine that works in different situations. Listening to music might be very effective alone in a room but less so when in a crowded coffee shop.

Find a routine that works and stick with it. Repetition is key. This is the best way to enjoy the concentration benefits of meditation and music.


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