Thursday, June 19, 2008

Keeping the Anti-Anxiety Beat

I know I've written about taking breaks from anxiety before, but an encounter with the really great folks over at Seattle Drum School in Georgetown got me thinking about the buffering effects of music on anxiety's chatter. When the mind is engaged in counting out triplets with one hand and sixteenth notes in the other, there's not much mental room left for anxiety. (Okay, so I'm not a drummer--except for in my dreams--but at least that's how it seemed to me back when I played Chopin on the piano. Or maybe I just have less "mental room" than others!) It seems to me that when the mind and body are fully engaged with each other (as in drumming or playing an instrument), there's little opportunity left for anxiety's influence to insinuate itself. And while anxiety and "perfectionism" cures remain elusive, taking much-needed breaks from their chatter is a life-preserving practice.

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