When you are tap-tapping out a batch of articles for a client, what sounds are making their way into your ears?
Do you hear nothing but the quiet hum of your laptop and the birds singing outside? Or are you bouncing your head to an angry rap tune? Do you dial the radio in to a classic rock station, or put on noise-cancelling headphones and immerse yourself in atmospheric classical orchestra music? Perhaps you always listened to music as you wrote because you enjoyed it, but have you ever thought that listening to music actually improves your brain function and makes you a better content writer?
Scientists have proven that listening to music actually helps you perform better on tasks that involve concentration, memory, focus and problem-solving skills. As a freelance content writer, you use those skills all day long!
So how does music make your brain rock out and perform better?
One of the main reasons why listening to music will help with your content writer is that it will help you to relax when you are stressed out. When you are stressed out, your brain fills with cortisol which is a stress hormone related to the “fight or flight” response. If you are stressed out for too long, cortisol will start killing your brain cells because it will actually “excite them to death”. It especially affects the hippocampus, which is the area of your brain where your short-term memories are converted into long term ones.
There are many ways to reduce stress, but it seems a bit impractical to try to do your content writing work while doing yoga or sitting in a hot bath with lavender essential oils. However, listening to music works very well to put your brain in a relaxed state.
Studies show that peaceful classical symphonies are the best type of music for inducing this effect. However, everyone is different and so go ahead and listen to whatever music you find calming, whether it is folk rock, Celtic instrumental, or jazz.
As I write this I am sitting at my desk with an enormous pair of padded, noise-cancelling headphones over my ears. Without them I would be distracted by the sounds of the dogs barking outside, birds singing, the phone ringing, text messages dinging and all other things that are happening around me. However, right now all I can hear is Scottish band Travis wondering “Why does it always rain on me?”
When you are deep in concentration writing an article and something distracts you away from your task, it can take a while to get back in that mental state of focus. Sometimes, you can lose your grasp on a great idea just because you were distracted by a text message, a conversation in the other room, or a noise outside. When you are listening to music as you write, especially with headphones, you can direct your focus solely upon your writing.
German philosopher and mathematician G. Wilhelm Leibniz described music as the “pleasure that the human mind experiences from counting, without being aware that it is counting.”
All the while you are listening to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” your brain is automatically counting each tap of the cowbell without you even noticing it. Even if you are not paying attention to the song at all, your brain is picking up on each different note, beat and rhythm change from the snare drum to the electric guitar to the keyboards.
Perhaps the part of your brain which usually gets in the way of your creativity is so distracted by that awesome guitar solo or sweet bass riff that it leaves the creative part of your brain free to flow.
So next time you are hard at work, crank up the tunes and let the music make you a better content writer!