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What I Gained From Cutting Out Music and Why You Should Too

I loved music

I used to listen to a lot of it. The first thing in the morning, before getting out of bed, and the last thing at night, I had my headphones on.

Even though most people have a positive experience with music, it wasn’t the same for me,

I listened to music all the time. Music would get me up in the morning, music would pump me up in the gym. I had music for when I was in love and music when I was depressed.

No doubt, music affected me emotionally and influenced my behaviour. It was magnifying my feelings, when I was angry, music would make me feel that the whole world was against me. When I wasn’t motivated, music would make me feel that I could take on the world.

At times when I did take off the headphones. The was silence,

I hated the silence

My motivational boost was gone. I felt like an insecure child, the world against me. I had to do the one thing I knew that would save me from my insecurity, listen to more music.

Even when I wasn’t listing to music, I still had a song playing in my head.

I was addicted. Depressed and addicted. The more I listened to music the more depressed I was, the more depressed I was, the more I listened to music. A downwards spiral. I knew I had to snap out of it, but I just didn’t know how to.

My cold turkey experience

One day I decided to break free. I deleted all my songs. I was going cold turkey.

In the beginning, it was very difficult. I was having ‘withdrawal symptoms’. I felt a part of me was missing. But I was a lot more aware of my thoughts. I started to enjoy the silence, finally being able to listen to myself and my thoughts.

As crazy as it sounds, I had more time to think. Meaningfully thinking, I was able to prioritize what was important to me, and my life. It was a cleansing experience that helped me clarify a lot of things in my life.

What did I realize from turning off the music?

Instead of music, I started listing to audiobooks,

One of the most immediate actions I felt was a strengthening of my mind. Rather than motivating myself with music, I forced myself to be motivated without external stimulation. I felt empowered by finally being able to control those things significant to me.

The same happens when someone stops using music, drugs, or alcohol as a tool for escapism. They force their minds to lift them when they’re down.

I do feel calmer and I don’t feel like something is missing from my life. My depression dramatically reduce. I’m not sure if this was because I stopped listening to music or because I had more time with my thoughts. But whatever the reason, I’m glad it’s gone.

My mind is sharper and has better focus, I don’t have songs repeating in my head when I want to focus. Listening to music takes up some of my attention capacity. I had less attention for other tasks, hence when I stopped the music, I finally had a lot less clutter in my mind.

When I do hear a song, it feels way more powerful, the same old sounds sound 100x better, I feel I’m part of the music. Having your favourite meal every day for a month will kill your desire for it, and it will no longer be your favourite meal. I felt the same with music, listening to music all the time numbed the sensation from the music.

Sadly, when I do listen to music, it also brings back memories of my dark history with music. Notably the depression. It is for this reason why I have decided I’m better off without music.

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