May is Mental Health Month – let’s start drumming for wellness

Taking care of your mental health is an ongoing process.  Many people hear the term “mental health” and they conjure up images of psychiatrists, medications, and even acts of violence that have been in the news.

Mental health is so much more than that.

  • It’s adding 5 or 10 minutes into your day for some quiet reflection time.
  • It’s being willing to say “no” to requests once in awhile when you feel overwhelmed.
  • It’s recognizing personal limits and boundaries and making sure others respect them.
  • It’s finding opportunities to smile, laugh, sing, dance, and be silly with others.

Wait…being silly is part of our mental health?

Heck yeah it is!  As adults, we tend to lose the playfulness that was so inherent during our childhood – it’s no longer acceptable to sing out loud, skip around in a circle, or play hide and seek (unless you have a kid).  But having opportunities to be playful and silly boosts our creativity, and science backs this up.

Drumming & mental health

SO. MUCH. RESEARCH. Has been done in the past several decades about the connections between drumming, thought patterns, and mental health.

If you want to know which populations can benefit from drumming programs, it might be better to ask which population hasn’t been studied yet – veterans, corporate employees, senior citizens, at-risk adolescents, adults in recovery, nursing students, school children – all have experienced the benefits of rhythm, and scientists have written about it.

What rhythm can do for you

Let’s go back to silliness.  As advances in technology bring us closer together, so too do they have the ability to isolate us.  Seeking out activities where we can directly with one another becomes more and more important, and connection often means bringing out that inner child.

Drumming has this amazing ability to bring out our inner child, and to encourage us to interact with each other in simple, uncomplicated ways – a smile, a thumbs up, a whoop of encouragement – anything more would get lost in the roar of the drums.

In addition, drumming helps our mental health in other ways:

  • it improves our ability to focus and concentrate on a task
  • it increases our memory capacity to help stave off dementia as we age
  • it enhances our problem-solving capabilities by encouraging creative expression

The bottom line

We need to take care of our mental health just as much as our physical health, and drumming offers a proven way to do it.  Do you want to help your organization connect better through rhythm?  Give us a call!

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