Doubt is one of the most universal experiences when it comes to having faith. From time to time, we all ask questions. We all feel the shadow of uncertainty creeping over our belief and trust. It can be a difficult thing to manage. No matter how much we want to believe and feel secure in our faith, questioning and doubting are part of what it is to be human.
So how to cope with our doubts? There are many ways. Some find it helpful to talk with a church leader. Others turn to members of their community, family or friends, to discuss the questions that give them pause.
But still others turn to the power of song. Music can be wonderfully affirming. It lifts our spirits and makes us feel reassured. So how does music aid us in times of doubt when our faith is being tested?
The Science of Song
The human body is programmed to respond to music. The limbic system of the human brain, responsible for feelings of pleasure and emotion that serve as “rewards” to our bodies and encourage certain behaviors, is engaged and triggered by the sound of music. Likely you’ve had the experience of being stirred to emotion by a chord or melody without being able to explain exactly why. You’ve almost certainly felt the feelings of nostalgia and reminiscence that come along with the right song. What you’re feeling is your limbic system being stirred by the music.
So what does this have to do with faith and doubt? It’s simple. We experience doubt in times of trouble, and that doubt is compounded and allowed to fester when we take a negative outlook to the world. Advising those suffering from doubts to cheer up is almost too simple, and yet it is effective—hope and happiness are powerful counters to doubt.
But you can’t just make yourself get happy on command. Fortunately, the right music can do it for you. Find the songs that nudge those receptors in your brain and make yourself a get-happy playlist. The next time you’re struggling to overcome doubt, turn on the music and watch as your worries begin to recede.
Loneliness and Lyrics
One of the hardest things about doubting faith is the feeling that you might be alone in what you’re going through. The truth is, it’s something everyone deals with, but that’s hard to feel sometimes.
Music can help. After all, songs are poems set to a tune, and in their lyrics you can gain a window to the innermost thoughts and feelings of the singer. There are plenty of songs out there about people who have struggled to maintain their faith through hard times.
Whatever you’re going through, don’t doubt that others have gone through it too. The human experience is universal, and we are never alone. There is a song out there for you, one with the power to speak to whatever you’re dealing with and help you find peace.
If you’re in need of a song that speaks to you, explore the many offerings of Music for the Soul and know that you are not alone. Doubt is natural, but music can help us recover our faith.
Kat Helgeson comes from a ten-year career in social media marketing and content creation. She takes pride in her ability to communicate the culture and values of an organization via the written word. Kat is also the author of numerous books for young adults. Her titles have received the Junior Library Guild Award, the Bank Street College of Education Best Books of the Year Distinction, and been featured on the Illinois Reads selection list. Her work has been translated into Dutch and German. She has written several inspiring and motivation pieces for Music for the Soul, a company which creates healing songs and other tools that help individuals bring positivity into dark and depressive places.
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