Rhythmic Healing: 7 Ways Drumming Elevates Your Mental Wellbeing!Sep 06, 2023
Drumming is the simplest way for people to come together.” - Babatunde Olatunji.
Drumming has been a cornerstone of human culture for thousands of years, a rhythmic expression connecting us to our roots. However, it’s not just the rhythmic beats and captivating sounds that make drumming so special; it’s the profound impact it has on our mental health.
For those unfamiliar, a drumming circle, also known as a drummer circle, is a gathering of people who come together to share and create rhythmic music with drums and percussion instruments.
But did you know that drumming circles are more than just recreational events? Here are seven incredible mental health benefits of drumming and drumming circles, backed by research:
Engaging in drumming activities can be a powerful stress-reliever. The repetitive beats and rhythms can help divert your mind from daily stressors, allowing a momentary escape. A study published in the journal Mental Health Practice found that drumming reduced anxiety, tension, and stress, promoting relaxation and well-being (Fancourt et al., 2016).
Boosting Brain Power
Believe it or not, drumming circles can be a mental workout! Drumming has been shown to improve cognitive functions like memory and attention. A study by The Journal of Neuroscience concluded that the rhythmic training through activities like drumming enhances timing precision and cognitive functions (Hanna-Pladdy & Mackay, 2011).
Elevation of Mood
Feeling blue? A drumming circle might be the remedy. The act of drumming can release endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, which can elevate your mood. This is supported by a study in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, which found drumming to stimulate positive emotions and mood enhancement (Bittman et al., 2001).
A drumming circle offers a platform for individuals to express themselves without the barriers of language. By tapping into this primal form of communication, individuals can connect with their emotions and convey them through beats. Music and Medicine journal states that drumming can serve as a form of non-verbal expression, fostering emotional healing (Thoma et al., 2013).
Improvement in Social Bonds
Drumming circles are inherently social events. By coming together to create rhythm, participants often feel a deeper connection with others in the group. This shared experience can foster feelings of community and belonging, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness (Koelsch, 2010).
Enhancement in Mindfulness and Presence
Like meditation, drumming requires focus on the present moment. By concentrating on the rhythm and being in sync with others, drumming circles can enhance mindfulness. A paper in PLOS ONE highlighted the similarities between drumming and meditation in promoting relaxation and presence (Smith et al., 2014).
Encouragement of Emotional Release
Drumming can be an avenue for emotional catharsis. When words fail, the rhythmic beats can communicate pain, joy, anger, or any emotion in between. Drumming circles, with their supportive environment, can be therapeutic platforms for emotional release and healing (Winkelman, 2003).
In sum, whether you're an avid drummer or someone with a budding interest in drumming circles, the mental health benefits of this age-old practice are undeniable. So, the next time you hear about a local drum circle, why not give it a try? You might be surprised at how good you feel afterwards!
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- Fancourt, D., et al. (2016). Mental Health Practice.
- Hanna-Pladdy & Mackay. (2011). The Journal of Neuroscience.
- Bittman, B., et al. (2001). The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
- Thoma, M. V., et al. (2013). Music and Medicine.
- Koelsch, S. (2010). Music and Medicine.
- Smith, J. C., et al. (2014). PLOS ONE.
- Winkelman, M. (2003). Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.