DID YOU KNOW… that mental illness affects about one in four people in the world? The World Health Organization names it as one of the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. By next year, mental health is predicted to be second only to heart disease in its prevalence among global diseases. Chances are, someone you know and care for is affected by some form of mental illness. It may even be you.
The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to help promote positive mental health! POUND® is all about putting minds before bodies, lifting spirits, getting people to TUNE IN to themselves, and helping people all over the world release their inner rockstars while leaving stress and other negative junk (frustration, aggression, saddness and more!) on the workout floor. But how exactly does POUNDing away after a stressful day put you in a better state of mind?
“The brain absolutely has rhythm,” says Nathan Urban, neuroscientist at Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh. Rhythm is hardwired into our being. Walking, sleeping, thinking, creating, rocking—all literally driven by rhythms in our brain and nervous system. This Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s take a look at how—and why—we can use rhythm to tap into our healthiest and most balanced selves.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND
THE HEALING POWER OF DRUMMING
We know that drumming together with others makes us feel great but so much more is happening! Studies suggest that drumming, especially in synchrony with other people, connects several areas of the brain. Communal drumming has been found to fight cancer. A reduction in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after group drumming has been seen with soldiers, an “… increased sense of openness, togetherness, belonging, sharing, closeness, connectedness and intimacy, as well as achieving a non-intimidating access to traumatic memories, facilitating an outlet for rage and regaining a sense of self-control.”
PLAY + DANCE + MUSIC:
A Trifecta Worth Tapping Into
Kirsten Potenza started POUND® fitness to exercise the mind, then the body. While group drumming is enlivening on its own, dance, music, and play (the cornerstones of POUND®’s fitness routines), pack a triple punch, which was her original motivation for creating this special workout.
“We now know through controlled treatment outcome studies that listening to and playing music is a potent treatment for mental health issues,” says Clinical Psychologist Michael Friedman, Ph.D., in Psychology Today. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine identifies frequent dance as the only one of several physical activities that lowers risk of dementia (playing musical instruments also showed a lower risk). Parkinson’s patients who had trouble walking down the hall to dance class have been seen to begin waltzing once they get into the rhythm of the music. Music can also help reduce pain and anxiety for patients recovering from surgery (even for patients under general anaesthetic).
And where would we be without a little silliness?! That feeling that we get when we let loose with our friends, Ripstix® in hand, and rock out to our favorite tune should not be underestimated. Play is essential to emotional wellbeing. It wards off depression, supercharges learning, helps you connect to those around you, and acts as a key (but often forgotten) source of relaxation and stimulation. Let’s all remember it’s OK to PLAY!
There are many ways that you can turn it up a notch to take extra care of yourself and others. A few thought-starters:
- If you aren’t teaching yet but want to spread LOVE and make a difference in your community, Become a POUND® Pro today! For inspiration, check out Yesenia Marrero’s incredible PRO Story here.
- Create an upbeat playlist and share it with your friends. Also feel free to share your playlist on social media and tag us (@poundfit) in it! (You can check out our latest playlist is here)
- Do something that you absolutely love every single day, whether you have 5 minutes or 3 hours to do so. This “something” may or may not include Ripstix® and loud music. 😉
- Find new ways to play! When do you feel childlike wonder, energy and joy? Challenge yourself to find and create more of these moments in your life.
LOVE YOUR INNER ROCKSTAR
If we leave you with one thought today, it’s to remember to LOVE your inner rockstar and, whenever possible, help others find and love theirs. May our minds drum LOUDLY the tunes and messages that inspire us most! #mentalhealthawareness #turnituptour #thepoundeffect #4Mind4Body #MentalHealthMonth #MHM2019