If there's a distracting song rummaging around in your brain, how to convert it into something sacred.
Posted in May 16, 2017
They can attack at any time. They bore into your brain. They can make you crazy. And they are frustratingly hard to eradicate.
No, they’re not exotic insects or strange viruses. “Earworms” is the term that has come to be applied to catchy songs that get stuck in your head. You may be going about your day, when suddenly you’re thinking “All About That Base.” Or you’re trying to concentrate on something but “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” just keeps pounding in your brain.
Earworms can be annoying. Distracting. They can even lie dormant for a period and reassert themselves at inconvenient times. But you don’t have to be their victim. You can take a proactive approach to earworms. You can even use earworms to turn your heart and mind to God throughout your day.
1. Identify hymns or worship songs that most often stick in your mind.
Do some songs you sing in church stick with you longer than others? “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” maybe? “Good, Good Father?” “It Is Well With My Soul?” Note when that happens. Write them down, even.
2. Remember your favorites.
You may not love every hymn or worship that sticks in your brain, but the chances are good that you are moved and blessed by a few of them. So compile a short list of five or more of your favorite “earworm” worship songs, and note which of them are actually prayers (for example, “Amazing Grace” is a testimony but not a prayer, whereas the words of “How Great Thou Art” are directed to God).
3. Purchase or download your favorites and copy them to a CD or playlist.
Depending on how computer (or smartphone) savvy you are, the next step is to acquire your favorites—especially those that are prayers. If you need help, enlist someone who knows how to do this and give them your list.
4. Play one each day soon after you awake, before you leave the house or before finishing your commute.
Your prayer routine may already include music, but I suggest selecting one of your “holy earworms” as the final music you hear before launching into the day’s activities. And choosing a different tune each day will give your brain enough variety to avoid earworm fatigue (a clinical condition I just made up).
By purposefully “planting” meaningful hymns and worship songs as earworms, you can preempt “Who Let the Dogs Out” and (better yet) turn your heart and mind toward God throughout the course of the day as your intentional earworm repeats.