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Looking at Addiction as a Decision-Making Disorder
Shahram Heshmat Ph.D.
Mental preparation is as important as technical mastery to enhance one’s capacity to manage anxiety comfortably.
Music can be seen as a coping resource that leads to a feeling of empowerment and provides possibilities for emotion regulation.
The key to reaching difficult, long-term goals and developing the necessary motivation is to start with small acts.
Music is an easily available resource for the regulation of our emotions, moods, and stress. Here's how it works.
All pain is real, but it is also true that pain is constructed in the brain and that we can have some control over it.
Listening to music can produce intense pleasure in the brain’s reward systems, commonly referred to as chills.
Learning retention is the process of transferring new information into long-term memory.
Emotional expressions communicate information to others about our feelings, intentions, and attitudes.
The more self-confident you are, the less fear you will experience in navigating a crisis or traumatic event.
Musical interaction or synchrony, like dance, marching, and music-making, encourages group cohesion.
Life is full of rhythms, such as heartbeat, respiration, day and night, and multiple other rhythms.
Aesthetic experiences can include viewing artworks, taking in autumn leaves in the park, listening to your favorite music, home decoration, and more.
Music expresses or communicates emotions that we cannot put into words, such as cheerfulness and melancholia.
Imagination is a mental capacity that enables us to transcend present circumstances and construct alternatives versions of reality.
An impulse act like anger can provoke a knee-jerk reaction that may sometimes be difficult to reverse.
Beauty and practicality are independent values. We appreciate beautiful things not just for their practical purposes, but for what they are in themselves.
If we can effectively de-bias our thinking from innate and learned biases, we can get better at making decisions.
Choice and decision-making are fundamental aspects of life, and the choices people make determine, in part, the quality of their life.
Feeling psychologically close to one’s distant self motivates more farsighted decisions.
The capacity for synchronized movement in time in humans serves a critical role in group cooperation: a sense of belonging, empathy, and liking.
Listening to music can help with relaxation, stress relief, and mood regulation.
Group music-making such as singing together and dancing increases our sense of empathy, connectedness, and improves mood.
Aesthetic experiences can arise from the appreciation of artworks (e.g., poetry, music, painting, etc.) or natural objects like sunsets or landscapes.
The main reasons people listen to music include enjoyment, mood regulation, passing time, and social identity.
Background music helps to block out distractions and improve focus, such as engaging in sports and fitness, meditating, writing, and deskwork.
Songs from the past can trigger powerful emotions and transport us back in time.
The main problem with most bad habits is that the costs occur in the future, whereas the pleasures from them occur in the present.
Musical training has the potential to improve cognitive reserve into late life.
Cognitive biases play a part in vaccination decisions. Understanding these biases will be important to fighting vaccine hesitancy.
Listening to music quite simply gives us pleasure.
Shahram Heshmat, Ph.D., is an associate professor emeritus of health economics of addiction at the University of Illinois at Springfield.