Ten Reasons Playing A Musical Instrument Could Help Relieve Stress - National Stress Awareness Day

Today is National Stress Awareness Day. Created by mental health charity 'Mind', the national day aims to raise awareness of stress and is "a great opportunity to take a moment to think about our wellbeing". What better way for us at Percussion Play to mark the day than to remind us all of the tons of mindful health benefits that playing musical instruments and particularly outdoor musical instruments can provide.

Here are our Top 10 Reasons Playing A Musical Instrument Could Help Relieve Stress

  1. Mindfulness. Playing music helps you practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the state of being fully aware of the current moment, without being distracted by past events or future worries. Meditation is a common way to exercise mindfulness, but improvising or learning a tune works well, too.
  2. Stepping outside to play an instrument forces you to take time away from the screen. With work, school, and socialising becoming increasingly reliant on technology, it seems we never take a step back and do an activity in the real world. Working with your hands, away from your phone or computer, is a perfect way to unwind.
  3. Playing music and outdoor musical instruments can be social, and socialising can reduce stress levels. Music is a fantastic way to connect with friends, share ideas, and work together to produce something excellent. Music is also a great way to make new friends.
  4. Music keeps you calm. Playing music can help with stress, insomnia, and depression because it acts as an outlet for difficult emotions. It can be a form of self-soothing in tough situations, and a healthy distraction from a stressful day.
  5. Playing an instrument gives you a sense of achievement. There’s nothing like the feeling of finally mastering a song or tune you've been practising for ages and it will improve your confidence in other areas of life in the process. Which leads us nicely to number 6 ....
  6. Builds confidence - learning to play an instrument can help both children and adults who face confidence issues. Musical instruments which are pentatonically tuned for easy improvisation with no clashing notes will help to build musical confidence, the confidence to create and the confidence to perform.
  7. Practising a musical instrument improves patience. We live in a world where knowledge and communication are instant but playing an instrument is a great way to remind yourself to calm down and remember that you’ve got time.
  8. Exercise. Going outside to your local music park or trail and playing an instrument naturally leads to increased physical activity. Whether you're playing a xylophone, marimba or musical chimes you'll be using your arm and back muscles to play and if your playing the drums, you even get to do some cardio!
  9. Playing a musical instrument fosters creativity. Stuck in everyday routine lives, many of us lose touch with our creative side. Playing a musical instrument can foster that lost creativity and since music activates your mental, emotional and cognitive abilities, the brain is stimulated to think out of the ordinary, which results in improved creativity. When you create you invoke your imagination, which is a productive and constructive use of your mind, we are engaged in what experts describe as a sense of ‘Flow' which can put us in a near-meditative state where we lose track of time and feel removed from the stresses of life
  10. Playing music is fun! We can harp on about all the scientifically accurate benefits to playing a musical instrument – but what matters most is that it’s enjoyable. While other hobbies like watching TV or flicking through social media are passive, playing music actively engages and stimulates the brain, making you feel happy and occupied.
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