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Drumming Can Largely Improve Your Mental Health, Science Says

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Drumming Can Largely Improve Your Mental Health, Science Says

Drums are more than just an instrument.

Percussion instruments have been a part of music therapy for a long time. Science has long shown that music has a positive impact on the brain when its used in a therapeutic manner.

In particular, drumming is great because it allows you to do something fun while firing up several important areas of the brain.

Here are a few ways that drumming can improve your mental health:

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It Helps You Get More In Touch With Yourself

Playing the drums can help you get more in touch with yourself.

One study showed that transmitting rhythmic energy to your brain allows both cerebral hemispheres to sync up. When you’re drumming, your intuitive side and your logical side begin to work in harmony. It brings you into a level of conscious awareness that is hard to reach otherwise. Reaching this point allows you to become more in touch with yourself.

In addition to your two hemispheres, drumming allows syncs up the frontal area and lower of the brain. When these areas have a strong connection, it produces “feelings of insight, understanding, integration, certainty, conviction and truth.”

All this allows you to transcend normal understanding. Ultimately, these effects allow you have real insights in your life.

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It Helps Reduce Stress

Is there a better stress reliever than being able to hit something without hurting yourself or others? Hardly.

Recent studies have shown that a regular drumming program helps people reduce stress. One of these studies also showed that drumming in a group even lowered employee turnover in professions with high-stress. Other indicators of low stress that they noticed was clearer skin and reduced hair loss among those who had been suffering from acne and hair loss during the study.

It Helps You Develop Intellectually

A recent Stanford University study showed that 20 minutes of daily drumming can help you develop intellectually. Picking up the sticks can help you boost your IQ and improve your concentration.

The study include middle-school boys diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. The psychologists involved in the study found that 20 minutes of rhythmic music was enough to help participants perform at a higher level in school. The effects were like the positive effects of the medications used to treat ADD.

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According to Howard Russell, a psychologist working on the study, “the brain is locked into a particular level of functioning. If we ultimately speed up or slow down the brainwave activity, then it becomes much easier for the brain to shift its speed as need.”

The study also found that drumming happens to be a great way to speed up brain wave activity.

It Encourages Creativity

Unless you’re playing in an orchestra, there is no right or wrong way to play the drums. People from every culture choose to play the drums in different ways. Whether you tap it lightly or hit it hard, you can play how you want without damaging anyone’s hearing.

Playing the drums allows you to come up with new patterns, methods and whole songs. A strong beat is a global language that gives you the creative license to get involved in whatever way you want.

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The combination of drumming and the music you make makes drumming an amazing thing for your brain. Whether you want to transcend your mind or just stop thinking, a quick drumming session can help you achieve your goals.

It Helps You Deal with Emotional Trauma

Playing the drums can actually help you heal yourself.

Recent research shows that therapists can harness rhythm techniques to help you create a calm sensation. This sensation encourages you to let go of emotional trauma.

Essentially, drumming allows you to focus on something soothing while processing your emotions. While you’re drumming, you feel safe and supported. That feeling breaks down the mental barriers that often prevent you from sharing your feelings.

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

Food is a universal necessity.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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