Stress Relief

Guitar and Music as a Form of Stress Relief

By Anthony Bierman
In Jul 1, 2014

One of the many benefits of learning to play guitar, or any musical instrument is the fact that you can use your new-found hobby as a form of daily stress relief. The average person can vastly gain from the therapeutic effects of recreational music making in order to let off some steam.  It’s not always possible for someone to escape from the day to day stresses of life. We would all love to now and then run off on a two week holiday to regain sanity from the rat race of life. This is where I believe guitar or even music lessons can help the average person find a means to unwind from the pressures of work and daily life.

Stress Relief Research

Research has shown that recreational music activity can help short-circuit the stress response and keep a person’s stress levels from becoming chronic. Stress is a process that begins in the brain and in turn switches on the stress response in all the cells of our body. Over a period of time, the stress switch can be left on, which leads to feelings of burnout, anger, or depression. Along with many other related physical ailments.

When a potential threat is detected by our senses, a chain reaction occurs in our body in which genes in each cell get switched on. This in turn, directs the cells of our body to produce the chemicals that are associated with this stress response. Playing music in any form can cause an opposite reaction. Music has the ability to turn those cells off again which is beneficial to your overall wellbeing.

More Good News

The good news is that you don’t have to be a guitar guru in order to gain the benefits of this. Quite the contrary in fact! If you approach the instrument in to serious a manner it can actually decrease the relaxing benefits.  Serious music practice focuses on technical mastery, procedure and even deadlines, which is not as stress relieving. Recreational music-making, however, is the main form of stress reduction! It works on making a person feel comfortable and nurtured in a creative experience.

Studies have shown that the de-stressing benefits of music-making are quite prominent. It has been known to reduce the level of burnout in nursing students and care-based workers. It has also improved the behavior and school performance level of certain students.

Stop Stressing

The key when using music as stress relief is to do as much by intuition as possible. This can even apply to bashing it out on a xylophone or piano. The key is not to get caught up in technicalities to impress people with your music, but just to entertain. You can just unwind yourself in a comfortable setting and most importantly have fun.

This is why doing lessons can help even if you don’t have time to practice. Sometimes just messing around with some chords with your teacher can take your mind off of your problems. This can help you make feel at ease again.

I will leave you with a funny clip from a guy that demonstrates his way of using guitar as a form of 99-second stress relief: Click Here.

Profile photo of Anthony Bierman

* Completed an honours degree in music at University of Pretoria * Currently performs in a guitar and piano duet * Played guitar Hero and nailed it first time * He is a jazz specialist * Has a wealth of knowledge in music theory * Was taught by the world famous Jonathan Crossley * Has 2 years teaching experience

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