It has been suggested many times that exercise is a good way to calm down, to de-stress. This may be so for some, but walking doesn’t do it for me. Walking for me is just rhythmic thought.
So I was walking today and thinking to the beat, about how I can seem to be able to talk myself into a state of anxiety that is irrational, and how this is probably a major cause of my own depressive and anxious episodes. I don’t do it “publicly” the way a child does – at some point I learned that public irrationality isn’t acceptable to others – it becomes an internal “self-talking”, subconsciously driven and progressively less rational. I see evidence of it as I read over the posts to my blog, the anxieties associated with compositional process and the associated stresses and deadlines, and the dealing with other personalities. I hate the fact that making music has all these other “social” aspects attached. Let me just make music!
My brain is my enemy. So often I wish I could turn it off, still the thoughts. I use snippets of music, counting and mathematics to drive the thoughts under, but they take a lot of effort to quiet, and they do not go away, despite a part of me that knows they will become irrational.
Part of the phenomena is widely described as “earworms” from the German “ohrwurm” (Kellaris, 2001; Levitin, 2006, p. 151), mentally rehearsed auditory impressions. They are not auditory hallucinations, rather the brain becoming fixated on a melodic fragment – the song stuck in your head. Musicians are susceptible, as are those with obsessive-compulsive disorders. In my own case I often get the stuck songs, but more disturbing are the stuck thoughts. I have attempted to recreate the effect in an audible way on the page Brain Loop. Here you will find a a piece of audio created using speech and various ambisonic techniques to place the sounds inside the listener’s headphones.