Learning an Instrument Can Improve
Your Mental Health
You may think that learning to play an instrument is something you should have started years ago for it to be of any real benefit. The fact is, you don’t need to become a rockstar to advance your personal development goals in surprising ways. So, whether you are just taking up a hobby or intend to work a career in music, let’s take a look at the ways being musical can help you.
One of the most prominent ways that learning an instrument will improve your psyche is by instilling self-discipline in you. Getting good at an instrument requires consistent practice and if you manage to stick to it this behavioral trait is much easier to apply in other areas of your life. For example, it is much easier to tell yourself you can practice learning a language for 20 minutes a day if you have already shown yourself you can form positive habits through your learning of an instrument.
Having strong self-discipline is seen by many stoic philosophers as a key to defining self-worth. Feeling good about being committed spills over into your everyday life without you even noticing at first but if you reflect months or years after your self-discipline has improved you will notice your overall mental health will have too.
There are many small goals you can achieve during the beginning stages of learning an instrument. Hitting these goals feels good. There are not many feelings out there better than being able to play your first song all the way through after hours of practice. Achieving these milestones helps to promote confidence.
Another way playing an instrument can assist with confidence issues is through performance. Many of us have trouble with public speaking or any number of related anxiety issues. It is often the best course of action to attack these fears head-on. A great way to do this is through musical performance. Whether it is just in front of a loved one, at an open mic, or a crowd at a recital, playing to an audience - and nailing it - can send confidence soaring. It can also show that messing up isn’t the end of the world either. On the other hand, if you know you are particularly hard on yourself it may be best to forgo performances for a while.
Escaping The Rat Race For A Moment
In the modern world, we spend way too much time on our phones. This can cause any number of mental health issues from anxiety, to depression, and anger issues. Social media is a particular problem in this regard. Our feeds are designed to show us things that make us upset or angry so we interact with them more.
Practicing an instrument is a productive way to PUT THE PHONE DOWN for a little while. It is also a task that absorbs a lot of your concentration while you are doing it. This means you have less time to ruminate on what you were looking at earlier.
Constructive Learning, Community, And Friendship
Of course, there are the obvious learning hurdles when it comes to learning instruments like how to form chords and where the notes lie on the instrument. Yet, there is also a bunch of other jargon and intricacies to become familiar with. There are plenty of communities both online and in real life that are built around music and instruments. Becoming a part of these is a great way to make new friends and to feel a sense of belonging. This is even without the obvious friendships that can be built by playing in a band.
Let’s look at electric guitars for example. If you have never played one it’s unlikely you know what an EL34 tube amplifier is or which Jazz amplifier is best. This may not even be your cup of tea once you get into it but it’s almost guaranteed you will find some small niche part of your instrument that you love. Discussing uncommon hobbies and interests is a great way to make friends quickly with others who share them. Having more friends is never a bad thing for your mental health.
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