For me, playing an instrument has been part of my routine for nearly 12 years. I started playing guitar at age 11. At the time, I didn’t know it would grow and develop into something I loved and I am very grateful that now it helps me with some of the anxiety issues I face everyday in life.
Will playing an instrument help with a panic attack?
I have never suffered a panic attack whilst playing any instrument. The thought, of anything, from a panic attack to being out of the house for a while is never pleasant.
How old are you when you started playing guitar?
I started playing guitar aged around 11. From what I understand I am 5’10” tall.
Are there any certain tools or techniques you use to reduce the level of anxiety that you experience while playing music?
My favourite tool to use when using my guitar – when not playing – is my ear, which I find helps me calm down quickly when I start to experience high anxiety levels. If I hear someone talking, I often try to focus on what they are saying. I often look at the ground and try to focus on that. Also to reduce any anxiety that I may feel I may be experiencing, I will often try to use more music that seems familiar or that I think has some sort of calming influence.
Are there any exercises you do to calm you down?
One of things that has helped a lot when I am feeling anxious is a quiet spot on my sofa. When I sit in the chair or lay down to meditate I don’t think about or think about the current situation in my life or how I am going to cope with it. I just sit and focus on the feelings and sensations and the relaxation and peace that comes from it. I then slowly relax and start to think of other things that may help calming down my body and mind.
I don’t know of any particular exercise that I use when playing as I have never been good at physical exercise. The only exercise that I regularly do is doing a series of sit down exercises. For example, I can sit in a chair and work my way up towards a ball.
Does playing an instrument help with a panic attack?
For me, the best thing that I have found to help me calm down when I am anxious is to just enjoy the music I am listening to. A huge part of my problem seems to have been being unable to let go of what I feel,
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