Stress has dogged our modern society, especially in recent years with the onslaught of technology keeping most of us tethered to work and never ending projects. Off work, we are drawn to the endless stories and influences on social media. There never seems to be a break for the brain outside of digital devices, unless we make an informed decision for the benefit of our brain. Amidst these stresses, we are constantly finding ways to de-stress and music playing is one of them. Here are 5 reasons why playing music reduces stress.
1. Switch Off Stress Response
Stress begins with a thought in the brain that kicks off with a set of chain reactions that affects the entire body. Many times if we allow stressful thoughts, which are mostly thoughts of fear and uncertainty to continue running, stress becomes chronic while the body is regularly heightened with stress hormones. This can cause problems in the long run. Going for music jamming or learning a new instrument can help to short-circuit the stress response to stop it from becoming chronic.
Research has shown that playing a musical instrument can switch off the stress response which improves physical and emotional health. Playing music reverses the chain reaction stress hormones switch on in every cell of the body.
2. Reduce Burnout
The de-stressing effects of learning a musical instrument are piling up in research studies. It has been shown to reduce the prevalence of burnout in nursing students as well as long-term care workers. Learning musical instruments also improved school performance and the behavior of at-risk youth. Such evidence is even more important in our age of Covid 19, where lockdowns and social distancing has created stress due to social restrictions.
3. Brings the Mind to the Present
One of the 5 reasons why playing music reduces stress is the practice of mindfulness.
Mindfulness has become a popular practice due to its ability to de-stress and develop a calm mind. Mindfulness is usually practiced with meditation. However, playing music has the ability to bring the mind to the present moment as well. We are required to pay attention to the technique as well as to the sound of the instrument moment by moment while learning to play an instrument. Practicing on an instrument or learning a song helps with mindfulness because if your mind drifts to the past or to the future, you won’t be able to play a tune.
4. Takes You Away from Mobile Device
Making the decision to learn a musical instrument also gives you time away from your mobile devices. With school, work and socialising becoming increasingly reliant on computer and mobile screens, the mind becomes less engaged in real-life activities and communication in the real world. Working with your hands, whether it's on the drums or piano, gives your mind a break from incessant information overload.
5. Opportunity to Socialise
Last but not least, playing music allows us to meet people and to socialise face to face. Music is a great way to bond with others and to connect with like-minded individuals. It allows us the space to share ideas and to jam together and produce creative sounds. Socialising and meeting new people is definitely one of the avenues of stress reduction.
If you are looking to de-stress by learning a new music instrument, you may want to start with drums or keyboard to start hitting on a few tunes quickly as guitars may take some time for you to get your finger technique right.
Ritmo Music Studio offers a variety of music lessons in Singapore. Get in touch with us at Ritmo Music Studio to enquire about our music programs.