Sound therapies have long been popular as a way of relaxing and restoring one’s health. For centuries, indigenous cultures have used music to enhance well-being and improve health conditions.
Neuroscientists in the UK have even gone as far as working out scientifically which tunes relax you the most.
In fact, listening to that one song — “Weightless” — resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.
Equally remarkable is the fact the song was actually constructed to do so. The group that created “Weightless”, Marconi Union, did so in collaboration with sound therapists. Its carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines help slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Of the top track, Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson said, “‘Weightless’ was so effective, many women became drowsy and I would advise against driving while listening to the song because it could be dangerous.”
Have a listen and see what you think….does it work for you?
Are there other types of tunes that help you relax or study?
Hygge (pronounced ‘Hue-gah’) has been in the headlines for a couple of years ago now. Simply it is the Danish art of living well.
It is described as a quality of presence and an experience of togetherness, feeling warm, safe, comforted and sheltered, it can give us courage and contentment.
I picked up the book photographed above in my local library and it got me thinking about how we can apply these concepts to learning and education. After all, students can only learn if they feel safe, secure and confident so with Hygge promising an increase in these then it makes sense to utilise it.
One of the principles at the heart of hygge is the sense of belonging, connecting with others. Humans are social beings, we have a natural sense to be with others, to not feel alone.
Hygge-studying ideas to belong:
Study with a friend or in a small group. This can be beneficial as peer-teaching can take place but more importantly so you don’t feel alone. Just make sure you get some studying done!
Revise in a public place – go to a coffee shop, library, somewhere quiet enough to get some work done but where you have a sense of belonging too.
Use your study breaks to connect with other people, call (don’t just message!) a friend, talk to a relative, check in on someone who maybe struggling.
Make a study survival pack to gift to a friend
Write a postcard of encouragement to someone in your class
Spend time with your family, attend family meals together
The next principle of Hygge is shelter. Shelter means security, support, the everyday experience of feeling safe, peace of mind and trust. It can also refer to mental shelter from the pressure of life.
Hyyge-studying ideas relating to shelter
Take breaks, get some mental shelter from the stress of revising
Find quiet places to sit just and reflect
Make your study area feel like peaceful sheltered area that is safe and secure
Create boundaries – either physical by getting some alone time and mental by arranging your revision time into blocks
Consider pushing your bed against two walls so you sleep encased by two walls
Feeling comfort is at the heart of hyyge, something we all seek through our lives. When we seek comfort we usually turn to the familiar, things that have made us happy in the past.
Hygge-studying ideas to comfort
Have a routine set in place to give familiarity – morning routines and evening routines and little rituals through the day
Spend some time enjoying things from your past – look at old photos, watch a favourite movie, read a favourite book in your study break times
Comfort your friends and family too – maybe something simple as make them a cup of tea
Make your study area comfortable and a pleasing place to be in, make sure it is illuminated with natural light, the chair you use is comfortable and warm
Make your study area decluttered and tidy to comfort your mind as you work
Wellbeing is about a deep rapport with ourselves and the world around us. It is about the relationships we have with others, the feeling of happiness and contentment we have, living a wholesome balanced life.
Hygge-studying ideas to wellbeing
Feel connection with other people, go for a walk down a familiar street and smile at people as you do. Don’t lock yourself away with your books.
Practise gratitude – start each study session with mentally listing the things you are grateful for
Take a break from studying every half hour to just stop and be mindful about what is going on around you.
Accept that this period of intense studying is temporary, your whole life is not like this, it is a busy few months but then you will get a break afterwards.
I hope this has given you some ideas on how you could incorporate some of the principles of Hygge into your exam revision and studying.
I would love to hear if you have any other ideas 🙂