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4 Ways Playing An Instrument Benefits Your Mental And Physical Wellbeing

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At Design For Change all of our patients learn how to play a musical instrument during their time in treatment. These are some of the beneficial reasons why learning to play a musical treatment aids in treatment for addiction treatment.

  • Music improves cognitive functioning: People who play instruments and learn how to play instruments perform better cognitively than those who do not. Cognitive function is what makes up all the small decisions and actions we take. In addition, cognitive function is also what helps us make knowledge out of the information we receive. When the brain is cognitively impaired, it can struggle with making meaning out of new information. For addicts and alcoholics in treatment, this can be especially debilitating. Not being able to grasp and understand the various themes and concepts regularly being discussed can be difficult and lead to frustration. Too often these patients are criticized for not “getting it” because they’re “unwilling”. Drug and alcohol addiction directly impact the prefrontal cortex which is where cognition lives. Severe drug and alcohol addiction can severely impact the prefrontal cortex and the cognition. Learning to play a musical instrument helps heal this area of the brain and the cognitive functions of patients in treatment.
  • Music improves brain-body relationships: It takes a certain amount of coordination to play an instrument and play music on that instrument. The mind and the body have to be in constant communication to make sense of sheet music, listen to other music, pick up on cues, create rhythm, and play. Improving the mind body connection touches on the holistic quality of treatment and recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Addiction negatively impacts the mind, the body, and the spirit. Learning to play a musical instrument is one of the many therapeutic ways this holistic relationship can be restored to health.
  • Music induces mindfulness: One has to pay careful attention when they are learning to play an instrument. Paying attention to the way the instrument sounds, the way one is playing the instrument, being aware of the technique, how the differences in technique feel, noticing the way the sounds come together- all of this is a practice in mindfulness. Mindfulness is proven to reduce stress, inflammation, symptoms of depression, symptoms of anxiety, and more.
  • Music is a confidence booster: Learning to play an instrument during the early months or years of recovery can feel like a giant accomplishment- because it is. Any activity which comes together over time is a demonstration to the recovering addict or alcoholic that they are capable of giving something time, nurturing it slowly, and accomplishing something great. Recovery is taken one day at a time. Learning to live sober can only happen one day at a time. Overtime, addicts and alcoholics grow confidence in learning they can live sober and they can achieve great things in sobriety.

You can find your confidence again. The treatment programs at Design For Change offer a refuge for addicts and alcoholics to find the hope and freedom promised to them in recovery. Everyone is capable of changing. Our programs provide access to unparalleled peace of mind, focusing on wellness for the holistic being. For information on our programs, call us today at (877) 267-3646.

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