Just imagine his personal earworms on a given day!
When we quizzed our Facebook readers about earworms, the music-affliction seemed to ring true there too. A significant number of responses came from musicians, plagued by songs related to their work or hobby.
“I’m a professional musician, and it seems that the pieces that get stuck in my head are things that my students are playing, or things I’m working on,” YouBeauty Facebook fan Lacy Schroeder Garber told us. Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky are frequent auditory offenders for her—clearly a seasoned ear.
Other tunes? Not so much. Kellaris’ research cites some of the most common “earwormy” songs, and they’re not necessarily what you would call…classy. “YMCA”? “Whoomp, There It Is”? “Who Let The Dogs Out”?! Yup, even Chili’s “Baby Back Ribs” song made the list. Right up there with “Mission Impossible.”
But the real mission impossible: Getting these songs out of your head for good!
Or, is it? YouBeauty Psychology Advisor Art Markman, Ph.D., doesn’t seem to think so. He says there are actually simple ways to treat a case of earworm-itis.
“The easiest way to do it is to replace it with another one,” he says. “We all have certain loops that we can get to play in our heads if we try. Really what you want to do, if [your earworm] is really driving you nutty, is to basically interfere with it.
It’s the era of the iPod—pop those earbuds in and listen to something else. But whatever you do, don’t even think about cursing the auditory brain-loop that caused your lovely earworms in the first place. Without it, Markman says, you wouldn’t be able to sort numbers, learn language or even identify sounds at all.
Besides, thinking about your earworm can sometimes trigger the effect all together. And, as YouBeauty Facebook fan Lizz Ramsdell Kresconko put it: “Can’t think of [my earworm] right now, thank goodness, but if it comes back to me now, I will be VERY angry with you!!!!!!”
Sometimes, a little distraction is the only Rx you need.
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