It is no shock that getting older impacts mental, emotional and physical well-being. The shock of waking up to a body that pops, or a mind that remembers less vividly can directly affect motivation or even cause more stress and anxiety, further making this whole “aging” dilemma worse. There are thousands of cures for aging, from food and wine to exercise programs and surgery, but researchers have found one simple way to ease the process of aging: relax.
Not only are we getting older, but the lives we lead are typically full of stress. From job and career obligations to our families and friends, it can be hard to pinpoint a day without at least one event that raises blood pressure or brings on a need for a 2pm “comfort food” chocolate bar. Throwing other issues like the economy, global warming or the plague of fried foods on a stick, stress and anxiety are as familiar as our favorite radio station, but much harder to turn off when a bad song plays.
Stress reduction and relaxation does not have to be complicated. In fact, one of the secrets that many hand drummers and drum circle participants understand is the simplicity of tuning out the world while banging on a drum, and what this does for stress levels. Researchers call this the “relaxation response,” and it may even change gene activity, reducing the occurrence of health issues like heart attacks, insomnia and even digestive disorders. Drummers, focused on the rhythm or music of a Djembe or other drum, become mindful, or more “in the moment.” This practice eliminates much of the outside buzz that creates stress and encourages the “relaxation response” that helps process the body’s stress.
For those days when getting out of bed creates a rhythm harmonized by the sounds of traffic, phone calls, e-mails and the piercing needs of others, grab a Djembe and beat away your stress. By building those early morning pops and crackles into a rhythmic inspiration, your ability to face the day with smile increases, reflecting your and joyful, rhythmic self and inspiring your inner youth to greater heights that withstand the test of time.