Music can be a lifeline when anxiety strikes.
There are three instruments I tend to use, and they work well in different situations.
When I am feeling lost and alone, that’s when the cello comes out. Although I may not have the words, I can communicate how I’m feeling through the notes I play. And the size, and the vibrations of the instrument against my chest, feel almost like I’m being comforted by a friend.
When I’m in a state of panic and feel I can’t breathe, the recorder is useful. It forces me to focus on my breathing and matching my breathing to the movement of my fingers takes my mind away from the panic.
When thoughts are going through my head and I just need to focus before my mind spins completely out of control, I pick up the guitar. There are a couple of pieces that I can play without needing to think. The patterns that my fingers make, and the measured beat of the music, seem to ground me and allow the thoughts to filter through and start to make sense.
Today has been a three-instrument day.
But the music has worked. I think I may have found a way through… A thin thread of hope. We’ll have to see.