In this day and age, people are obsessed with health, now more than ever before. There are all kinds of teas you can drink for digestive health, treatments and cleanses for bright and glowing skin, and vitamins for strong and healthy hair… So why are people just now taking an interest in their overall health?
Well, social media has a lot to do with it. We live in a digital world, meaning that we now have access to loads of information. Information we didn’t know about certain diseases and illnesses are now easier to access with a simple touch, tap, or swipe of our finger, making people be more proactive about their health.
When people would talk about getting healthy, it was automatically implied that people were talking about physical health. But now, with the emergence of social media and its effects on the mind and self-image and self-worth, people are now starting to pay more attention to their mental health as well.
Things like mental health awareness month and people having mental health days off from work have all come into effect when more and more cases of mental health issues came about. When you look up treatments for mental health issues, all you see are the typical treatments of seeing a doctor, exercising, medication, and surrounding yourself with positive people…
Not to discredit those treatment methods, because they have helped many people and still do but have you ever thought of any alternative treatment methods? Whether you’re trying to improve your physical or mental health or both, have you ever considered the benefits music plays on your physical and mental health? Particularly, learning to play the piano?
Health Benefits of Playing the Piano
In our daily efforts to adopt a healthier lifestyle, we oftentimes forget that there are more ways than one to do it. You don’t JUST have to exercise and eat healthy… you can also get healthy and find inner peace doing the things you love the most. Whether you already know how to play the piano or need to enroll in piano lessons, here are the biggest ways your health will benefit from playing the piano, physically and mentally.
1Playing the Piano Instills Discipline
In order to become a great pianist, and even a good one, requires a certain level of dedication which then turns into discipline. You may have a busy schedule, whether it’s kids, work, or house chores, you have to find the time to get in your practice sessions to enhance your skills.
Once you’ve dedicated time or set a schedule to get your practice in, practice will then become a discipline to you. Being able to put forth the dedication for your piano lessons or practice sessions is not only a good quality for your music but it’s also a good quality to have in many other areas of your life as well.
This established form of discipline will play a very significant role in your life, especially when it comes to managing your weight as you get older or working hard to climb the corporate ladder.
2Playing the Piano Relieves Stress
Many don’t realize it but sitting down to play the piano is a major stress reliever, even if you’re just playing for a few moments of your day. Maybe you’ve had an extremely stressful day at work and need to unplug. Playing the piano will not only lower your blood pressure but it will also help your mind to shift its focus from the stressful workday to finding peace in the melody of the song you’re playing.
3Playing the Piano Improves Posture
How many times have you seen a slouching pianist? Never. Playing the piano improves posture not only while sitting in front of the piano but it also improves your posture in general. You could be sitting having dinner at a restaurant and your body will naturally sit up straight because you’re so used to it. You’ll even walk with good posture, which in turn, exudes confidence when you walk.
4Playing the Piano Stimulates the Brain
To be able to play the piano, it forces your brain to work in ways it hasn’t before. According to mic.com, this stimulation all stems from the central sulcus of the brain. The thing that is so fascinating about playing the piano is that you have to overcome being left-handed or right-handed because playing the piano requires you to play with both hands simultaneously.
The depth of your brain’s sulcus is either deeper on the left or right side of the brain and the side where the sulcus is deeper is what determines your dominant hand. Studies have been conducted on the brains of pianists and revealed that based on brain scans of piano players, they have a central sulcus that’s more symmetrical, allowing them to easily play the piano, regardless of which dominant hand they have.
The studies also revealed that equal depth wasn’t something that naturally occurred. The pianists in the study were just able to strengthen their weaker side to match their dominant side. So don’t ever think that you’re too old to learn the piano or that it takes a “gifted” person because it’s just a matter of strengthening your non-dominant side. And in order to do that, it’s going to take dedication, which will then translate into discipline.
With all of these health benefits that the piano can give you, it’s worth giving it a try, especially if other methods aren’t helping you, whether it’s physical or mental health.