How Playing The Guitar Can Give You A Mood Lift
Making the decision to play any instrument, whether guitar or otherwise, can bring a myriad of positive benefits to your life. Some obvious, such as gaining the ability to both create and play music. It trains discipline, work ethic and is in the broadest sense a ton of fun to do.
But the positive aspects that both learning and playing an instrument offer extend so much farther than that, from improving your social life all the way to combating serious illness.
Then please join us today as we take a closer look into just how exactly playing the guitar can improve your mood.
Playing is a form of meditation
We all experience stress in some form, it might be work related issues, all the household chores still left to do, financial worries, it’s something that affects us all from time to time.
Whatever issues you may face, dwelling and overthinking them is a guaranteed source of additional stress. A common way people mitigate this is by meditation, helping us to silence that mental chatter that keeps us awake with worry at night. But did you know that playing the guitar is also a form of meditation, bringing us into the moment and taking us away from the negative energy.
So next time you can feel the negative thoughts becoming overwhelming, pick up your instrument and try playing for a while. Before you know it your attention will be brought back to the present, the mental chatter will have calmed down and you’ll experience the true peace that playing the guitar can offer.
Music’s effect on our mood
Music and pitch have a substantial effect on how our bodies and minds feel. We have an in-built reaction to changes of pitch, vibration, and resonance that is very deeply rooted in us. Stemming back from our days as hunter gatherers, we would have to react to sounds out in the wild, and they would stir within us emotional reactions of alertness, fear, or relaxation. This is one of the fundamental reasons why music makes us feel emotion.
We can use this fundamental to our advantage, by listening to or playing relaxing, joyful, or happy music we can have a very direct influence on our current emotional state.
This is also something you can grow to rely on, as if you associate the act of playing an instrument with being relaxed and happy, your body will become trained to this feeling. Allowing just the very simple act of sitting down and playing guitar to trigger your body’s reaction and immediately gain that feeling of safety and comfort that’s associated with playing.
Music is social
One of the best things about playing guitar is that it’s not a solo endeavor. There are plenty of opportunities to get together with other musicians, teachers, and fellow guitarists to jam or study together.
Social interaction can be a huge mood improver, helping you to forget about stress and alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.
When you play music with others you are creating and communicating together on a deep emotional level, with music being a language in its own right. You can increase your ability to interact socially by using music as a conduit, which can have a tremendous number of benefits to both your confidence and social abilities.
This universal form of socializing that transcends culture provides a space that anyone can step into, regardless of race or country of origin, making music and playing guitar a safe and welcoming area for absolutely everyone.
Playing the guitar offers a tremendous number of benefits to cognitive function and mental performance.
Firstly, it can improve your memory. The very nature of playing an instrument involves exercising the brain’s ability to retain information, from learning scales, chords, modes, the circle of fifths, and even once you have the theory side of things down there are so many songs out there you’ll be memorizing!
It also exercises the brain, even though playing an instrument can feel natural, subconsciously our brains are still doing a ton of work! It needs to think about the rhythm, time signature, what chord we are playing over, and what notes are available to us and will sound the best at that particular moment. Improvising music can be quite the mental workout!
Finally, there is also strong evidence to show how the high brain activity involved with playing guitar can help to combat and slow down cognitive decline from age related issues such as memory loss, and even Alzheimer’s.
Expression and release
Sometimes keeping things pent up in us is not healthy, but stress-related issues can also be hard to articulate and communicate in regular words. This is where playing the guitar can really help out!
As cool as it is to play your favorite songs, playing the guitar offers a lot of opportunities for you to express yourself, whether through improvisation or songwriting.
It’s proven that being creative and having a way to express and release what you’re thinking has positive effects on your mood. It will help to lower your anxiety, depression, and stress. It’s a much healthier way to exorcize those negative emotions than what people traditionally might do such as eating comfort food or drinking alcohol.
This release associated with playing an instrument can extend to your bodily health too, as the act of playing/strumming releases dopamine and can impact things like cortisol levels and even lower blood pressure.
The bottom line
At this point, the evidence is undeniable, with so many studies confirming that the guitar has numerous and substantial benefits on both our physical and mental health. If it’s something you’ve been thinking about doing then please do not hesitate to jump in and give it a go!
The process of learning the guitar is incredibly fun, rewarding, and can provide you with that all important outlet for your stress and emotions while providing you with a way to channel your inner creativity.