Do Thoughts Really Shape Reality?

1 Aug

While some believe that our thoughts shape our reality 100% without question, others say beliefs like that have no place in the real world.  Whichever camp you may be in on this topic, here is some information you may find interesting and helpful…

New research shows that sad music is not “sad” to everyone.  In fact, researchers found that sad music can provide either enjoyment, comfort, or pain to different people.

The study surveyed 2,436 people in the United Kingdom and Finland.  The participants identified reasons for listening to sad music, emotions they felt, and memorable events linked to the music.

Researchers said the majority of participants focused on the pleasurable aspects of the sad music.  In other words, the sad music had a positive impact on their emotional state and improved their mood.

However, researchers also found that some people associate painful experiences such as a divorce, a bad break up, the death of a loved one, or other depressing events with sad music.

One researcher wrote:

Previous research in music psychology and film studies has emphasized the puzzling pleasure that people experience when engaging with tragic art.

However, there are people who absolutely hate sad-sounding music and avoid listening to it. In our research, we wanted to investigate this wide spectrum of experiences that people have with sad music, and find reasons for both listening to and avoiding that kind of music.

The results help us to pinpoint the ways people regulate their mood with the help of music, as well as how music rehabilitation and music therapy might tap into these processes of comfort, relief, and enjoyment.

The findings also have implications for understanding the paradoxical nature of enjoyment of negative emotions within the arts and fiction.

What does all this have to do with thoughts shaping reality?

One way to interpret these results may be to say that pleasure and pain are relative.  In other words, the same stimulus can cause pleasure or pain depending on how the person perceives the stimulus.  In this case, the same sad songs make some people sad and others happy.  It seems like it’s all about how you look at something and not what that something is that makes the difference.

So, do thoughts really shape reality?  We will leave that up to you.  But it looks like they might have at least some impact on it.


Dr. Binder

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