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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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