A few years back, a very innovative young Bank Manager with visions of changing the banking experience of customers took charge at my local branch. I loved a lot of the ideas which included keeping menthol sweets and serving coffee to bank customers while they waited. This Manager has since moved on to another branch and I am sure continues the good work. One innovative idea of hers that still sticks in my mind was the introduction of piped music to soothe clients while they waited.
Great technique as listening to music does wonder to alleviate stress. After all, doesn’t music soothe the mind of the savage beast? Similar logic would hopefully apply if the bank has messed things up and is faced with a savage customer?
I think the caveat of the type of music and volume of music was lost on the manager. A grave mismatch can result in the reverse of the desired effect which is what happened at the bank when classical music was played.
Classical music, yes, but not when it is at the loudest volume possible and full of clashing cymbals and drums. The results were predictable – irate customers shouting to be heard and tempers flaring all around. Clash and boom were the order of the day.
I happened to walk in one day and my customer feedback was to play soft instrumental. I didn’t care if it was European or Indian, the piano or the sitar, just soft, gentle, and caressing to my ears and definitely at a lower volume.
Years later, the piped music has been abandoned and the bank employees and customers don’t seem to be missing it too much. Harmony has been restored over cups of coffee and sweets.
My point is everyone has different tastes in music. We should listen to music that makes us feel comfortable not one that raises our blood pressure and which, instead of helping us to stay relaxed, creates stress.
Singing the virtues of music for stress management
Music is a significant mood-changer and reliever of stress, working on many levels at once. The use of mantras and chanting at different tones and frequencies is known to influence the physical body and chakra centres in our body. Depending upon your humors and constitution, different sounds can profoundly affect your mental state and general harmony.
The secret lies in choosing what works for us and what doesn’t. In stress management, one size does not fit all. We are all unique and hence need to find our own music.
For some, listening to recordings of rain drops might be relaxing while it might stress out another person. Strange as it might sound but for some of us, heavy metal is the panacea for a stressful day.
Choose the right music for the right moment. If you need to relax, go for soothing music, one which allows you to relax and meditate. If you need stimulation, then go for faster beat music. Last but not least, when feeling low, put on the song that reminds you of happier times and let the associated memories help to raise your game.
Is music, whether listening or playing part of your stress management arsenal? Or do you have another technique? Do share in the comments box below!
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