DBT Skills: Mind States Music

While researching fun mindfulness activities (one can only do so many meditations and breathing exercises) I came across a one that asks you to find music that illustrates how you experience the different mind states (Rational, Emotional, and Wise). I love music and I have been using music for years to communicate so this exercise appeals to me very much! This exercise allows you to practice mindfulness as it requires you to think about how you feel emotionally when you are in each of these mind states. Connecting with your emotions allows you to understand them and better cope with them and move into and stay in Wise Mind.

Mind States Music

Bring a song/ piece of music that illustrates one of the states of mind for you (wise, emotional or reasonable mind). Play this to the group. (If you cannot play it you can describe it or recite the lyrics)

Rational Mind- The Logical Song by Supertramp

Explain why you feel your song demonstrates that mind state.

Aside from being called The “Logical” Song 😛 The song talks about how being carefree, a “radical,
Liberal, fanatical, criminal,” is not what people want. “But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible. Logical, responsible, practical. And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable, Clinical, intellectual, cynical.” The singer then asks who he is which for me, is rooted in my emotions. The less I feel, the more rational I am, the less I feel like myself and feel robotic. Rational Mind, for me, is being what people feel I should be which is not emotional but responsible, practical, logical. The music also makes me feel logical, kept together and like I can focus.

Emotion Mind- Living Dead by Marina & the Diamonds (Trigger Warning)

Explain why you feel your song demonstrates that mind state.

This seems to be my go-to song when I’m deep in emotion mind. I even listened to it today when I had a little breakdown in the bathroom. This song is just sad and always matches how I feel in Emotion Mind. “Everyday I feel the same. Stuck, and I can never change.” Or the more obvious lyrics, “I’m living dead, only alive, when I pretend that I have died.” The song conveys the hopeless I feel when I’m in Emotion Mind and the music physically makes me like I am all over the place, rushing to find something to help me, to make the pain stop. I usually cannot listen to this song when I in other Mind States because it can quickly bring me into Emotion Mind (I do like the song though, this singer is great! Some fun songs by the same singer are Heartbreaker, Oh No, Bubblegum Bitch and Sex, Yeah)

Wise Mind- Get Fighted by Alexisonfire

Explain why you feel your song demonstrates that mind state.

The chorus of this song has always spoken to me. I first heard it in grade 10 and I have strived to live my life this way. “So make sure you love, Like you’ve never been hurt. And when you dance, dance, Like there’s no one watching you.” That is Wise Mind to me; I go about my life and I am living, at peace with what has happened to me and what will happen to me because I am ok. “My greatest gift to you, Is a dance floor, Free from insecurity.” I will just be, I will cope and I will keep going. The music makes me feel hopeful, carefree and content.

Did you notice any judgments about doing this exercise? How did you manage these judgments?

I judged myself by thinking that I didn’t explain myself properly and that people would think I was silly for choosing the songs that I did (mostly for Rational Mind). I wondered if people would like the songs I picked, despite this exercise being about me and not about others. How I managed this judgement was by focusing on what I thought and acknowledging that everyone would have their own songs for this activity because we are all different. I also listened to my Wise Mind song and felt better 🙂


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