Does playing guitar help with anxiety? – How Long Does It Take To Learn Guitar Theory Easy Dolman

Although playing guitar increases positive thinking, increasing the ability to relax and achieve a positive mood can also help! In fact, some people report a decrease in anxiety during the practice sessions and have a better experience on the guitar (see question number 2 on this page). This may be due to the increased activity in the brain and the increased attention that is available.

This may also be due in part to the fact that the practice sessions (which are also more realistic and more detailed) actually help with the anxiety. In an experiment about this in the British Journal of Health Psychology, researchers found that the participants used less of the brain’s grey-matter when they were playing. In other words, they were more likely to reach a more relaxed state and experience improved emotions. This may also be due to the fact that there is increased activity in the amygdala which is involved in the fear response and may make you feel more secure as it is involved in a similar form of memory and has a similar influence to thinking about something bad (i.e. the amygdala does a similar thing in thinking about a bad memory!)

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Is playing guitar a good activity for individuals with anxiety?

It’s interesting that some people seem to feel that this activity would only be beneficial for a few people. There is no evidence and research has not been done to support this idea. This is likely because the studies only used individuals with high anxiety which is extremely low compared to the general population. It could be that for those people, it would lead to negative consequences of anxiety.

This may also be because the theory of anxiety states that the person with the higher anxiety may have a different reaction to the activity than anyone else. We see evidence from studies in animals that if the animals are given an activity that causes fear, most will prefer to avoid the activity as they would prefer not to think about fear (See the example in question number 1 on this page)

We have discussed in several of our answers to this question that different anxiety can be due to different forms of anxiety. We would also like to mention that in one study where anxiety was tested using a game, people playing the game seemed to have the lower anxiety compared to people playing a passive task or watching a film.


What if I can’t do it properly or don’t want to play guitar?

Of course, if you cannot do well at it, the best course of action would be to practise it for a while. A book about meditation by Carol Dweck called

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Does playing guitar help with anxiety? – How Long Does It Take To Learn Guitar Theory Easy Dolman
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