by Reena Daruwalla, guest writer for Nancy Hayssen.com
In a place like India where the economy is so heavily dependent on the rains, sight, sound and smell of the first rain after a long hot, dry, arid, spell is an indescribably uplifting, blissful and joyful sound. Since our sensory experiences are visual, aural, tactile, and taste and smell related, each of our senses can elevate and enhance our mood.
Each of us probably have our favorite music or songs with special memories that immediately act as a pick me up, and lift our spirits. When I think of songs that improve my mood, the Beatles classic Across the Universe instantly comes to mind. I have always found Roadhouse Blues by the Doors and Highway Star by Deep Purple charge me up instantly. There are certain Hindi film songs that routinely make me cry because of the poignant associations they have for me while others always make me smile.
If there is one genre on music that I find unfailingly arousing, it would have to be the tango. Perhaps because of how sensuous the dance steps are, I find it very exciting.
A lot of sounds that I find both elevating and soothing are water related: the sound of a gushing brook or a waterfall, the pitter-patter or rain drops, even the sound of thunder, I truly love.
The one sound that is perhaps the most happy-making in the world is the sound of your own child’s carefree laughter. In any case the sound of another person’s mirth is often infectious. I remember being in a foul mood when the sound of a stranger’s laugh has made me smile and made me think of something other than what was upsetting me.
Lullabies are universally soothing, so that children all over the world are rocked to sleep by soothing timbre of their mother’s voice. Once we work out what are the sounds that work to distress us or lift up our mood, we can actively seek to use these sounds to our advantage!