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Playing instruments to release stress

Playing instruments to release stress
July 28, 2009, 05:30:58 AM
What do you guys think about playing instruments to release stress? I know this is common knowledge, but I think it would be interesting to hear what people have to say as to how playing instruments has helped them release stress.

We leave is such society that it is difficult to manage time; we have jobs, family, somethings school, sometimes more than 1 job. Things get very stressfull and a hubby is needed to release the stress. As a matter of fact, blogging here is helpful too!

I used to play guitar a long time ago and I used to play a lot. 5 years ago I stopped playing, and now, I've started to play at least a little bit every week to help me forget about everything else and give my mind some rest (or at least focus on something other than work and everything else going on).

If you have a story to share on how playing an strument has helped you, share it; or perhaps you do something else to release stress...Share your story. These are interesting stories to tell.
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Re: Playing instruments to release stress
July 28, 2009, 10:04:01 PM
You're describing sublimation, a type of defensiveness that doesn't make what's wrong in your life turn right. Maybe the practice is fantastic, but it is still a diversion to avoid confrontation with something negative in life. Somewhere deeper than our many skills is our inner character which governs them.
”The Revolution ends by devouring its own children” – Jacques Mallet du Pan, 1793

Re: Playing instruments to release stress
July 29, 2009, 06:47:22 AM
Thanks for the post. You make a valid point on the topic of sublimation, but what I described wouldn't be considered such (in my perspective). Sublimation, as you stated, and as stated by encarta is:
1. redirecting of unacceptable impulses: the channeling of impulses or energies regarded as unacceptable, especially sexual desires, toward activities regarded as more socially acceptable, often creative activities

If you have a problem in life and choose to avoid it by keeping your mind busy with something else, then that could be considered sublimation. I am referring to the exhausted mind (brain) which has been thinking about the same thing(s) for too long, and it is time to give it a rest from everything and allow it to recover. A good sound sleep is an option, but the problem is when you are very busy, with a project from work or schoo for example, you tend to go to bed thinking about it, specially with projects that will last a few weeks. Thinking about the problem all day long will not help solving it faster; on the contrary, it will lock your mind and you may find yourself at a dead end where no more ideas will flow. The best way to deal with it is to take a step back and return to it with a fresher mind.

At work, I've encountered complex logical problems which put me in a brain lock mode. To find a solution, I step back and walk away from it, normally by taking a walk and forgetting about it. Once I come back, I start at a few step back and work my way through again. This has helped me. The same concept can be applied with instruments. Take 20 to 30 mins a day to play an instrument or simply chill listening to some good metal music while you forget about everything else. It allows your mind to rest and you are ready for another day.
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Re: Playing instruments to release stress
July 29, 2009, 10:26:32 AM
There's also the point that if you're doing something to relieve the stress, whatever was stressful is no longer a problem.
You got faith in the end... but you can't fucking see!

Re: Playing instruments to release stress
July 29, 2009, 10:49:56 AM
A central idea of Buddhism (yes I realise I have been prattling on about Buddhism) is taking a very positive emotion and making that one's default state. Then from this new position one finds a more positive emotion and reaches for that in a never ending cycle. I suppose the main difference between this and the will to power is Nietzsche makes it sound like a battle where Buddhist thought makes it seem like a peaceful journey. Then regardless of what happens around you one can maintain that same level of peace whether you are sniffing the roses or awaiting your execution. Essentially you are expected to be in a state of meditation while one does any task. Thus doing anything can be a form of meditation and to link this to the thread's topic anything can be a form of stress relief ergo playing instruments can be a form of stress relief.

As an aside there are certain branches of Zen Buddhism that meditate while playing instruments.

Re: Playing instruments to release stress
July 30, 2009, 12:04:34 AM
A central idea of Buddhism (yes I realise I have been prattling on about Buddhism) is taking a very positive emotion and making that one's default state. Then from this new position one finds a more positive emotion and reaches for that in a never ending cycle. I suppose the main difference between this and the will to power is Nietzsche makes it sound like a battle where Buddhist thought makes it seem like a peaceful journey. Then regardless of what happens around you one can maintain that same level of peace whether you are sniffing the roses or awaiting your execution. Essentially you are expected to be in a state of meditation while one does any task. Thus doing anything can be a form of meditation and to link this to the thread's topic anything can be a form of stress relief ergo playing instruments can be a form of stress relief.

As an aside there are certain branches of Zen Buddhism that meditate while playing instruments.


Traditional Indian music also has a long tradition of being a meditative practice, or having a meditative component. I would bet that's where the idea came from in the first place, also probably having evolved from ancient tribal traditions where music and ritual was a way of transcending material boundaries and interacting with spirits/deities. I find playing an instrument to be very meditative sometimes. I often feel like my mind has been recalibrated and instead of outward stressors being any different themselves, my mind can perceive them for what they are instead of the narrative I've created around them.

Re: Playing instruments to release stress
July 30, 2009, 02:23:07 AM
Recently I have begun playing with my guitar in a new way. After distortion is switched on I turn the superstat up onto full and turn the post as high as I dare without injuring my ears. At this point I also turn the reverb onto full. I sit close on a chair facing the amp and I let the feedback begin. You can affect the quality of the feedback by moving closer or farther away from the amp as well as tilting and rotating the guitar. Changing the volume and using the tone nob and choosing which pickups are used also create changes. Also lightly tapping the guitar creates different sounds depending on where and how hard. Naturally playing things on your guitar changes the feedback but you have to be careful though otherwise the feedback disappears, this is why I tend to only play harmonics because it gives you the possibilities of simple melodies that can also entirely change the feedback with a reduced risk of removing the feedback.

I find that this requires great patience, for if you try to do things to fast the feedback either disappears or becomes unlistenable. I find it also requires a quite mind so one can enjoy the sound that is being made, if ones mind is full I experience a lack of interest in what I am doing. Lastly I think it allows one to truly live in the moment because these pieces (?) have too many variables to be anything other than improvisations and so one has to constantly be aware of how the music is changing in order to make one's next move. It is like a forced mediation for if your mind wanders the music is reduced to nothing.