I love music. I have always kind of naturally used it for emotional regulation. Happy music to expand happy feelings, or to pull me out of a funk. Sad music to mirror my feelings.
In Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), music is suggested as a tool to distract you from intense emotions, and to calm and soothe yourself when stressed and overwhelmed.
When I need a distraction — like when I am getting upset and want to avoid a fight with my husband — I like to use music, combined with counting, another DBT distraction technique.
For distraction, I tend to prefer something with a heavy beat or baseline. I lay down, put on headphones, close my eyes and count the beats. To help my mind not drift as much, I like to picture big bright numbers flashing one after the other. Usually by the end of a song or two I’m feeling much calmer.
Do you use music for emotional regulation, self soothing or DBT? What are you listening to these days?