Mar 292013
 
Learning not to cry

As adults, women are learning not to cry in public as it is not socially acceptable. Photo by David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

Men learn early on that crying isn’t acceptable for boys. The way we raised them, the way we talked to them and the way we socialized them in childhood manifested in a tough outer shell.

We unknowingly made the boys emotionally distant, as well as physically tougher than girls.

It’s that generational quirk that we pass down to our kids from our own parents and grandparents. A never-ending cycle of gender bias that starts as soon as we learn if our newborn is going to be a boy or a girl.

This unintentional type of gender bias is more dynamically deep-rooted than just choosing the color blue or pink. It’s the way we subtly guide their behaviors during their childhood before they choose dolls or trucks.

Girls cry

We put the baby girls in dresses and expect them to learn how to crawl with the dress inhibiting their movements. And when they cry out of frustration, we soothe them. Or we dress them in skirts and then show displeasure when the playtime shows their ‘underclothes’ influencing yet another frustration episode. What do we do? We encourage the ‘pity me’ attitude and say something to the effect of being ‘ladylike.’

We pampered them when they scraped their knee instead of telling them to walk it off, we fed into the empathetic moods after watching a sad movie instead of laughing at their tears and we encouraged them to get in touch with their feelings instead of calling them insulting names.

Then when these girls grow up to be women, they are ridiculed for exactly what we taught them.

When women cry, we think they are whiners and when they are empathetic towards others, we call them emotional.

Recently, we are seeing a societal shift in male emotion. High profile male figures are letting their guard down and weeping in the media’s eye. We feel empathy for them. We aren’t used to men crying in public.

But the same cannot be said for women. We see high profile women cry and we automatically label them as cry-babies or whiners. Their reputation as being business leaders or employment bosses are in jeopardy once they are caught crying in the public eye.

It’s an intrinsic double standard with our perception of the societal expectations of genders, still.

Women will cry at night when no one is looking. They learned to hide their tears from their partners, family and children.

They had to learn not to cry.

Mar 182013
 
Music therapy can lift a depressed state.

Your music can keep you depressed. Photo by imagerymajestic/freedigitalphotos.net

Want to change your mood? Change your music!

Many people don’t realize how their song choices could be keeping them depressed. ‘Do it yourself’ music therapy can save you a lot of grief if you learn what songs triggers you!

Music is to our ears, like food is to our stomachs; food nourishes our hunger while music nourishes our minds. Even our ancestors knew of this little secret to keep the depressed mind at bay; just look at all the references in the Christian Bible (Song of Songs). Recently, the medical professionals are reverting back to old times and implementing soothing genres as music therapy to ward off pain and anxiety in their patients.

The secret is that different genres of music can dictate our moods quicker than most present day medications. It can change our mood in minutes!

For example, have you ever left in your car angry at someone or something but before you reached your destination you were happier? Or was happy when you first left only to be depressed when you reached your destination? Blame the mood change on your preference of music.

Music Therapy is Diverse

First of all, music preferences vary from one person to another. How one person reacts to a song is different from how another reacts to the same song. Therefore, when one song lifts one person up, that very same song can bring another person down.

But before assuming the obvious that sad songs are the culprit, open your mind (or your ears) to the other possibilities.

Some people are actually motivated by sad songs. The sadness brings out the ‘fighter’ in them. These people need the sad songs to invigorate them to make changes in their lives. It gives them a purpose to get the blood pumping or excited about something.

Conversely, most people feed off of sad songs, usually to keep themselves depressed. They unknowingly feel more comfortable in a depressed state and play the sad songs to keep that sadness in them. One reason may be that they feel guilty when they are happy so they keep the sad songs playing. They may not feel deserving of happiness.

Learn how your music preferences affect you. You have to be aware of your reactions to certain songs and how it affects you personally. Once you realize how certain songs can change your mood, you can use this as a music therapy when you need uplifting.

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Music and the Brain