Humans are easily annoyed. This fact is not shocking, but a lot people don’t realize how relevant it is. We all have our own list of pet peeves. I consider myself hard to anger, but some things always grate on my nerves, such as:
- noisy chewing
- doors that are almost closed then slide back open
- trying to pass by a group of people walking very slowly
- annoying songs stuck in my head
- songs I barely know stuck in my head
- commercial jingles stuck in my head
The song-stuck-in-my-head thing is a pretty big problem. I like music and I usually have a melody playing in my mind. Think of it as a mental radio. It’s like a superpower, except it’s not.
Problems arise when I am have a normal day and suddenly I sing out a random line, like “pictures on the wall, they fade away…” I pause. What song is this? The next line is “they never listen for so long, they gonna stay…” Wait, that doesn’t make sense. It must be something else. How does this song even begin? Yet I am stuck with “pictures on the wall, they fade away. They never listen for so long, they gonna stay…” playing over and over in my head, until I finally re-listen to the song.
No exaggeration here, because that example actually happened. I blamed my brother for introducing me to that album. Ironically, he didn’t even remember that “pictures on a wall, they fade away” song.
There’s also the moment where a popular tune starts playing everywhere. You hear it for the first time in the dentist chair and decide you don’t like it. Yet it follows you while you shop for groceries, buy new shoes, and order a latte from the coffee shop. You think you are safe when you are home with no overhead speakers, but you are wrong. The song is in your head. It plays again until you almost enjoy it. It’s not so bad, you think. Hey, this is kind of catchy… But after an entire day of this song in your head, you hate it even more.
I have just done research on this and discovered this phenomenon is called an ‘earworm.’ Very appropriately named.
How to Use Psychology to Get Rid of an Earworm
- Identify the song.
- Listen and focus to the entire song.
- Immediately begin a mindful activity, like Sudoku, word games, or puzzles.
Our minds do not like to stuck in a state of incompletion. If you’re doing a puzzle and you have one piece left, you won’t toss it aside and say “close enough.” You will complete it and bask in its glory. By listening to the full song, your brain should recieve the closure it needs.
I hope this helps if your pet peeves concern earworms. In the meantime, enjoy this sweet autumn recipe. It won’t take an annoying song out of your head, but at least is a complete dish. After all, since the brain does not like unfinished
(Yes, that was intentional. No, I’m not sorry.)
Apple Squash Hash
- 1 medium butternut squaush
- 7 apples
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Peel and diced the squash and apples.
- Toss the cubes with the oil and spices in a bowl until well-combined.
- Spread the cubes onto a lined baking sheet.
- Roast the squash and apples for about 1 hour until the cubes are soft and golden.
- Serve hot or cold. Store in the fridge.