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(…and mindfulness and positive mental health)

In this fast-paced, action packed, highly competitive, 24/7 world we live in, what a joy (and relief) it is to sometimes be able to create pockets and moments of reflection and relaxation for ourselves.

We can do this in many, many different ways of course and naturally we each have our favourite pass times and ways to achieve this goal.

But, if you are searching for a new idea to provide you with excellent mental stimulation, mindfulness and a good deal of fun, then why not try West African Djembe drumming – it is a blast! It is also easy to learn the basics and proven to be beneficial to your mental health and well-being and a real stress reliever. In addition, it is very good for bringing people together and team work.

A ‘Djembe’ drum is a rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa. The name of the djembe comes from the saying “Anke djé, anke bé” which translates to: “everyone gather together in peace” and defines the drum’s purpose.

You do not need to be particularly musical to participate and enjoy playing the djembe and all ages from little ones, primary & secondary school aged children, adults and pretty much everyone can benefit and have lots of fun in the process.

Over time, the benefits of music for the mind & soul have been well documented and there is no doubt that music has that wonderful power of making us feel good! And here’s why it is so good for mental health:

‘’Drumming releases endorphins, enkephalins and Alpha waves in the brain, which are associated with general feelings of well-being and euphoria’.

Medical science investigations have proven that ‘the effect of drumming as a moderate-intensity exercise on hypertension, stress, and anxiety shows that it improves stress and anxiety immediately after a drumming session’.

Research by the Royal College of Music found that ‘drumming has a positive impact on mental health, with a 10-week programme of group drumming reducing depression by as much as 38% and anxiety by 20%’.

There is little doubt that drumming in a group can relive stress, lessen anxiety and enhance brain function. As someone who attends a weekly class, I can tell you that once you’ve started drumming there is no time to think of anything else! The rhythms demand your attention, your memory, your motor skills and your enthusiasm – I feel totally switched off from everything outside and totally alive to the sound, beat and group dynamics!

So, if you’ve been convinced that djembe drumming might be the right sort of activity for you or your children (many African drumming groups visit schools to do workshops) then explore what is available to you locally and I hope you start to have lots of mindful and stress relieving fun!

June 20, 2022

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