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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 November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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