After a stressful year, it’s finally time for that long overdue vacation in paradise. And while booking that tropical resort can certainly go far in lifting your spirits, take an extra step to get back in the vacation state of mind: music therapy.
Music therapy has been shown to decrease symptoms of anxiety and stress by using techniques like listening to and reflecting on music. Fueled by the power of music therapy, these feel-good playlists and pre-trip tips have been curated just for you. Use them to help change your mental destination as much as your physical one. So the moment you take that blissful first step into your resort, all you feel is “finally” — no worries in sight.
“Music therapy provides a safe and supportive environment for relaxation — a key element in releasing stress as vacationers prepare to venture out into the world again,” said Noel Anderson. She recommends trying out these three pre-trip tips, so that the only worry you have when you arrive at the resort is what drink to mix up in your Frozen Concoction Maker.
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
It’s normal to feel nervous or anxious about your travel plans, especially if you haven’t vacationed in a while. It may be tempting to ignore your feelings, but this is ultimately counterproductive. When you feel an uncomfortable emotion, consider listening to a song that matches your mood. Listen carefully to the lyrics and see what feelings and thoughts align with your mood and circumstances. Share this song and your feelings with a trustworthy friend or family member.
2. Focus On How You Want To Feel
Imagine your trip vividly with all the sights, sounds, smells, and tangible feelings. Put on relaxing music and take several deep breathes to calm your nervous system. Then, imagine every aspect of your vacation — from booking and packing to driving, flying, and so on. If you notice your body tensing, take several deep breaths and imagine you’re in your favorite place until you feel relaxed again.
3. Create Your Own “Waiting Music”
Music has a significant effect on the way you process time. When you start feeling impatient about your trip to paradise, use music and mindfulness to acknowledge your thoughts and let go of control. You can do this by listening to a song as if you’re hearing it for the first time — a technique known as “beginner’s mind.” As you listen with a beginner’s mind, practice being present in the moment, open to possibilities, and acknowledge the environment without judgment. Close your eyes and mentally note the volume, tempo, lyrics, mood, and vocal elements of the singer. You’ll be on your way to paradise soon enough with a laid-back and flexible vacation state of mind.