There’s no doubt in my mind that music and sounds, in general, affect us all on some level. It can be used to trigger certain moods or to ponder on things, even for meditation purposes. How does it get a hold of my spongey Borderline mind? Let’s find out.
The power of sound
During the course of my life sounds have played a major role in the way I remember and function as a human being. Pleasant soundscapes have been giving me the ability to stay calmer and on the other hand, loud bangs and other harsh noises just make me ramp up in anxiety.
I have a particular sensitivity to sudden loud sounds such as shouting, bangs, and all sorts of accidental blow-ups and shatterings. One of the worst things I can imagine having to experience in one of my moods is to hear something breaking, as it instantly reflects as my world being broken and me being a broken person in general.
I also have a tendency to read into tones when people speak, something I imagine a lot of my kin, the Borderline folks, tend to do. If I perceive something unpleasant or threatening in a person’s tone, it immediately triggers defensive behavior and even aggression as a way to protect me from the harm and hurt I see coming my way.
TV and Cinema
You can imagine that having to be triggered by various sounds that are often just normality and a part of everyday life isn’t easy. My sensitivity can be observed in quite the amusing detail when I’m looking at shows or movies, anime being my best friend and worst enemy.
I had to actually cut back on horror shows, etc. because I started being anxious all the time. It’s not only that the topis in those shows are often triggering to me and weigh heavily on my gentle soul, but it’s also the amazing way the makers use sound in their pieces to create a certain ambiance and mood around scenes. A mood that can follow us all the way home!
It’s not unknown that the horror (among other industries) moviemakers know very well what is going to make people be on the edge in a plethora of ways. There are plenty of studies made about the topic of certain noises and sounds making us scared, and it’s no wonder that those of us that would like to awaken certain experiences would put such astonishing tools into good use in our creations.
Other than anxiety, shows have the ability to bring me to the brink of tears, to make me toss up my hands in a victorious cheer, and lament my life choices as a part of some deeper revelation. I mean come on now, master Oogways words of the present still haunt me as I see the petals of his vanishing act floating around and hear the somber music in the background.
Depressive and aggressive music
When it comes to the soundscapes of shows or anything else for that matter, I dare say that music is the single most powerful way to affect the human mind. That’s probably why it is everywhere. It is such a covert and convenient way to manipulate us and compel us to spend whatever time and money we have on products or other stuff.
Thing is, in my case anyway, that I have had to stop exposing myself to certain types of music, among other things, as it brings nothing but chaos with it. And by chaos, I mean the emotions and states like anxiety and irritation, aggression even.
Mostly these things rub off on me from styles like metal, which I used to listen to quite a lot in my angsty years, and the anger in them somehow seemed to justify being more aggressive and loud. Like a sponge, I take in whatever mannerisms I surround myself with, and so the roaring lyrics of heavy metal hardly made me more likable.
I was also in the habit of listening to tons of depression songs. Believe it or not, there are a lot of songs that are dedicated to self-harm, trying to help you cope with the pain of it, and just generally singing about topics like suicide and more. Please don’t listen to these songs if you have any sort of tendency to get affected by the heartbreaking stories and lyrics in them, it’ll only make your pain worse. Personally, I will not have anything to do with such songs anymore, as they straight up plunge me into the dark place of my past where I was prone to being destructive. We want to be living in the now, not in the then!
Uplifting and energizing music
On the other side of the coin, there is of course the uppity music, the kind that motivates, makes me feel better, and even incites feelings like love and hope. Or that unyielding spirit of “Never give up!” in some cases.
Songs like Not Afraid (Eminem), Believer (Imagine Dragons), and All the Way (Jacksepticeye/The Gregory Brothers) keep helping me get through some tough times as I start hyping up to having that amazing grit my husband showcases on a daily basis. And let’s not even talk about what dubstep/anime soundtracks do to my gaming vigor, it’s just a call for that pure, epic, uncensored 99th percentile support I know I can give for my fighter husband but for whatever excuse can’t give consistently.
I’ve lately also started to use certain types of music to bring forth feelings of fondness and joy after there has been a rougher patch or argument. Nothing quite like 70’s love songs to remind me of the golden days and the love I have for my husband.
Calming and meditative, flow music
What about when I need to chill and calm down? All of this music just seems to be for the hypes and terrors after all.
Well, when I need to get into a more calm, neutral but still inspired state, I often turn on jazz or classical. Even now I’m listening to some amazing instrumental baroque tunes while writing! The key here is instrumental. I swear I don’t know how my husband does it, but listening to things with lyrics is the worst thing I could do when I’m working or creating. It distracts me from the things I need to put down on paper with the words ringing in my ears and all. On the other hand, they say that things like baroque music are good for the mythical flow.
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely adore piano and violin as instruments. I still sometimes take a meditative breather with Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata filling my senses!
When it’s all said and done, I need to be aware and careful with what I surround myself with, even in soundscapes. Be it the Borderline or my natural trait of being more sensitive, being too emotional (for better or worse) takes a toll and exhausts me more than anything in my life. So, from the above options, the safest choice for me would be to keep listening to classical and jazz as a sort of neutral background noise and then occasionally go for the other types I enjoy so much!
Trying to find balance and ways to manage my ever-fluctuating moods is a difficult task, and I’ve found music to be an amazing way to lessen the intensity of my moods or to incite more of something I feel I lack in my day. Though, a word of warning for anyone trying to trigger BPD moods – You will more often than not get more than you bargained for!