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Mental Health and Regulation: How Music Is a Sensory Savior 

person surrounded by music notes
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

We recently splurged on getting a Bluetooth music fan installed in our bathroom. It’s awesome. It plays music like you’re at a club. So now I dance in the shower like that’s where I’m at. 

Dancing and singing and listening to music can take me out of some of my worst moments. And send me to places I wouldn’t know how to get to without it. Music is one of my most cherished mediums. It’s poetry. It keeps me regulated. It’s my sensory savior.

Music makes everything better. No matter what. No matter where I’m at or what I’m doing. Like the other day when I had to flee my house because my neighbor was cutting his grass. Which he does every four days. To the day. Only this time it was at 9 a.m. For some reason, the earlier in the day, the more it affects me. But back to the music. 

I went to the grocery store to get away from the noise of the lawn equipment. The edger and the blower. The riding mower. And once in the store, I found myself twitching. Tweeking. Moving my hands involuntarily. Rubbing my palms. Wandering aimlessly down the aisles. Dodging the people coming in every direction. Feeling overwhelmed.

And then it started. When I was by the eggs. It was the highest of high pitches. Like the noise in the dentist office. It brought back the metallic taste in my mouth. The one that suggests the noise is affecting my emotions. 

I immediately put my headphones in. And as soon as the music began, I found myself becoming more aware. Going down aisles with purpose. With focus. With the ability to think clearly. All because of the music.

However it’s able to tap into my brain and help me, it does. It creates new groves. The neurological pathways I need to create. So I don’t fall back into the old ones. So I don’t slip off the cliff.

I even found myself dancing while in the store. Ever so slightly moving to the beat. Tapping my hand on my thigh.

Then when I got home, instead of having a meltdown and needing to recover, I was okay. And as soon as I got into my house, I turned on my Bluetooth speaker and immersed myself in a musical environment once again.  

By creating my own sensory sanctuary, I feel safe. And when I’m surrounded by music, I feel free.

Music saves me from not being able to comprehend what’s happening. From feeling triggered by the constant noises surrounding me. From having meltdowns. It brings me joy. It rescues me. Like the savior that it is. 

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Mental Health and Regulation: How Music Is a Sensory Savior 


Jenna Grace

Jenna Grace is a neurodivergent writer and educator with sensory processing disorder (SPD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) diagnoses. She writes and speaks about topics including neurodiversity and SPD in order to help others and to explore new meaning. Visit her website or Twitter, @jennagracewrite.


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APA Reference
Grace, J. (2019). Mental Health and Regulation: How Music Is a Sensory Savior . Psych Central. Retrieved on July 22, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/neurodivergent/2019/07/mental-health-and-regulation-how-music-is-a-sensory-savior/

 

Last updated: 12 Jul 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.