The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Every day while walking on campus, look to your left. Look to your right. Look in front of you. Everyone seems to have some sort of earbuds in or headphones on while walking.
As someone who loves music and constantly needs it in the background of my life, it’s hard to imagine a day without my AirPods. But what happens on the days I forget to charge them? Or they suddenly die or stop working? I immediately start freaking out, and you might know this feeling all too well.
But taking a step back, you might need to start asking yourself, “Why do I need this constant flow of sound in my ears?” It might not be what you want to hear, but as you drown out the world around you with Taylor Swift, Harry Styles or Steve Lacy, you’re drowning out your connection to yourself.
Music can be used to calm our nerves, anxieties and anger, but the saying “too much of a good thing is bad for you” most definitely can apply to this.
It’s important for a person to connect to their thoughts instead of pushing them away like most people do when putting in their AirPods and playing music. Allowing yourself to feel and think helps create a better relationship with your internal dialogue.
Whether thoughts are good or bad, creating boundaries with yourself is healthy, and when you drown out all of your thoughts, you’re not creating any boundaries. This can create a grey area in your mind, making it tough to cope and embrace your own emotions.
After a long, stressful day you might be tempted to immediately put AirPods in and blast your comfort song before even stepping out the door of your last class. But is that really going to help you sort out the racing thoughts in your head? Instead of pretending you aren’t stressed, take a breath, embrace the emotion, determine the source and think about how you can help yourself without avoiding the issues.
On top of drowning ourselves out with our AirPods, we end up depriving ourselves of the world around us. Whether you have a good or bad day, there’s still something to be thankful for. This could be the way someone politely makes space for you on the sidewalk or a small detail on a building you may have never noticed before.
Take the time to really consider the smallest things you can do for yourself. Take that deep breath and enjoy the air you’re letting into your lungs. Focus on the trees as you pass them and listen to the birds instead.
Taking out the AirPods can even be like taking off the blinders on a racehorse. Without the distraction and determination of getting from point A to point B in the fastest and most selfish manner possible, you can take the time to recognize others, strangers and friends.
I like to live by the motto, “it could take three seconds to make someone’s day, so why not?” I found myself embracing this even more once I decided to walk on campus and look at people around me without the distraction of music instead of looking at the ground. You never know what someone’s day or week may have been like and complimenting someone could mean the world.
Tomorrow, whether it’s for an hour or a whole day, leave the AirPods in your pocket, backpack or even at home. Let yourself think and embrace reality, internally and externally.