What do you normally do after a long and stressful day at work? A number of people would probably choose to drink or sit semi-comatose in front of their plasma TV, while others may opt for the gym to de-stress.
When I was working in the corporate world, I did all the above, but I found that none of them helped me from dwelling on the latest occurrence or dilemma at work. I love to read, and even back then, I could not find a book that could help me get over the long day.
It was a year or so after I was in the corporate world that I found playing piano was the most effective way to help me completely switch off from an eventful day at the office. All I had to do was play my piano for at least 30 minutes and the feeling was such pleasure!
As with any stressful careers, I would often find myself lying awake at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. My mind would be on auto-pilot and I felt as if I could not wait to get back in the office, so that I could things done or solve a situation. Nonetheless, by visualizing the playing of my piano, I found myself calming down and pretty soon, I was drifting off to sleep.
The act of playing piano, at whichever level, requires full engagement and concentration of your brain. Reliant on your type of practice, different areas of your brain may be utilized. Focusing on a challenging passage, through repetition, different technical exercises and analysis will predominantly utilize the left-side of the brain. It is one side of your brain that processes logical and analytical aspects of the musical patterns.
Playing a piece that you are already confident with is more of a creative act, thus your right brain will be the most dominant. By now, you already worked through all the technical difficulties, and therefore, can apply your very own creative interpretation to your performance in front of your audience.
All I can say is that playing the piano has helped me a lot in keeping myself calmed. I have left the corporate world a long time ago, but whenever I feel the need to de-stress, I go straight to my piano and play it for hours! It is very therapeutic, and if you have wanted to learn to play it, you should certainly do so now!
How do you de-stress from a long, tiring day at work?