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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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