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Drumming Can Largely Improve Your Mental Health, Science Says

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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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