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Four Ways Listening to Hang Drums can Improve your Well-Being

Four Ways Listening to Hang Drums can Improve your Well-Being

Many people enjoy listening and playing music that makes them feel uplifted. Various types of music invoke different feelings in us: the sound of a harmonica playing on a boardwalk, the melody of a saxophone playing in the subway station, church bells ringing on a Sunday morning, or the serene and relaxing sounds of hang drums on the street of a busy city. Music captures the attention of many. Not only does it capture our attention, but it can improve our overall well-being. Here are four ways the unique sound of hang drums can improve your well-being.

1. The Uniqueness Can Make You Smile

The hang drum, resembling a steel drum which has been inverted, has a one-of-a-kind sound that almost speaks to you with the harmonic delicacy of the sounds. The sound is almost hypnotic and innocent, and listening to this instrument can make you smile in enjoyment. When you smile, studies show that your brain benefits, as smiling releases those important neural messengers that greatly benefit your happiness and overall health.

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2. Hang Drums Can Enhance Your Mind

When listening to the many different pings from a hang drum, and hearing how they seamlessly blend with one another, the mind becomes more active. Studies acknowledge the powerful effects of music on our body and mindset, as listening to music has an effect on many different parts of the brain. Listening to music can motivate, facilitate creativity, and clarify your thinking. The music of the hang drum can be light and airy and provide a wonderful backdrop for any task that needs to be accomplished.

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3. For Relaxation

Some research shows that group drumming is good for the immune system. Drumming also reduces tension and stress. In today’s world, many feel the need to incorporate more options for relaxing in their lives. The sounds from a hang drum are almost hypnotic, and unwinding at the end of a long day or starting out your day by meditating can be coupled with hang drum music. Many hang drum melodies have pleasant, relaxing chords to invoke a stress-free period of time for you, whether it is enjoyed for a few minutes or a few hours. Hospitals and recovery centers incorporate music therapy; music as a therapeutic option for patients may even reduce the amount of certain types of medication needed. Music, especially in the form of soothing hang drums, may help manage your stress and keep you relaxed.

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4. For Exercising

If you are beginning an exercise program, you may discover that listening to music can give you the inner strength and motivation to keep going. An upbeat tempo from a hang drum song can increase your rhythmic movements while walking or running, while the slower and softer sounds of this instrumental form can enrich your yoga or stretching routine. Either way, having the motivation from this musical experience can increase your work output, both physically and mentally.

The benefits of listening, or even playing, music have been studied, and it has been shown that music can positively affect our feelings, moods, emotions, and health. With the wealth of music that is in our world today, we are able to listen to the type that “speaks” to us. Hang drums have such an uncharacteristic sound that many find themselves drawn to the pings of the notes. Different types of hang drums, also referred to as handpans, are manufactured by different companies and can produce different sounds. Hang drum music can be enjoyed in the form of a CD, online videos, digital download, or even by learning how to play them yourself! The striking, almost magical sound will be sure to please you, awakening your senses like never before.

Featured photo credit: Elvert Barnes Photography via flickr.com

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Beth Hedrick

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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