Wednesday, August 8, 2012

what are you paying attention to?

I've been watching the Olympics lately, and I have to say, I feel both inspired and lazy.  Inspired, obviously, because these are the world's top athletes demonstrating their skills in the most intense competition in the world.  And lazy, obviously, because I'm sitting on my couch eating popcorn and cheese and not swimming/running/jumping/making my horse dance/etc.

But it makes me think -- so many people spend so much time watching television, and how often are they truly inspired?  I'm not.  I mean, I watch the Biggest Loser, so I'll admit that my tastes run towards the self-improvement, but does Gordon Ramsay yelling at a bunch of aspiring chefs make me feel tingly and excited?  Does watching the BAU chase after serial killers make me proud of myself? No -- in fact it stresses me out.  But, like a train wreck, I'm drawn back to it week after week.

(Don't judge.  You have some equally horrendous guilty pleasures.  And if you don't, well, I have some popcorn and cheese you can eat and a horse you can make dance.)

The same thing goes for music.  I noticed that my running music, last time I ran, went like this:

Angry song
Angry song
Angry song
Fun, Upbeat song

Angry song
Angry song
Angry song
Fun, Upbeat song

And I have to say, that run was harder.  Maybe it was the humidity, maybe it was the popcorn and cheese, I don't know.  But it does make me wonder -- should I be surrounding myself with more inspiring and loving sensory input?  Or is the impact the same if I'm listening to Evanescence as when I'm listening to Miley Cyrus?

(I told you, don't judge.  They're both equally awful.)

There's something to this, I think -- lots of folks believe that your physical surroundings (i.e., that pile of dishes in your sink, Kate) is a reflection of your inner mental state.  The more clutter in the hall, the more stuff that's unresolved in your head.  So let's turn this around:  if you're putting visual clutter and noise into your "hall," isn't that going to have an impact on your head?

Maybe, maybe not.  Try it.  See if watching only uplifting shows (no more Law & Order SVU for you, Sandberg) makes you feel better.  Watch what impact your music choices have.  And decide for yourself.

As for me?  I'm going to eat more popcorn and watch Usain Bolt again.

1 comment:

  1. Funny, I find the dishes piling up in my sink to be a sign I'm procrastinating. The rest of my space has "pockets" of clutter than collect and get expunged at regular intervals. I think that's just a part of life.

    If how your space is arranged and what is in your space if reflective of personality (some people thrive with piles, some need the piles sorted and filed alphabetically, some just need the piles tossed in a closet) with a variance of mental state (and anticipation of who may or may not be coming over for cards, dinner, drinks or a sleep over.)

    Not at all necessarily a reflection of any clutter in one's head. A "neat freak" can have a muddled thinking and mental cutter and the "hoarder" -- of the "hoarder" may actually pretty keen on the lack of mental clutter. One of the mysteries of life.

    Music though, that can alter perceptions of the world or, at the very least, change one's frame of mind from relaxed to tense and from happy to sad. This all depends on the type of music, the melody, what memories are associated with it, etc. In any case, yes, music can add to mental clutter or help clean out the ol' noggin. Depends.

    Enjoy the popcorn and the instant replays.