Dealing With Anxiety Through Music

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Written by a Psychology (BSc) Second Year

Listening to music has always been my way to unwind and as a result, I decided to pick up a guitar in my early teen years and learn to play. At first, as with anything, I wasn’t very good; but I honestly didn’t care, the love I had for playing was far more important to me than how it sounded to other people. As time went on, the feeling I got from playing just became stronger and stronger, so naturally, it became a coping mechanism. Guitar was what I turned to when I was feeling stressed and anxious; even depressed through a few periods.

After much anticipation and through lots of hard work, my first term of university came around but after a few weeks, I was already struggling to cope with the workload. Naturally, I turned to writing music. As the term progressed, however, playing guitar was having less and less of a positive effect on my academic stress; it just became repetitive and it really wasn’t going anywhere. It was only in the build up to Christmas that I joined a band. After joining this small indie rock band, I noticed a huge increase in my mood. As the year progressed, the work got harder and the pressure built up, but my band remained a constant. I really started to see the results of the effort I put into my music and to some extent, I think that gave me the push I needed to put that same amount of effort into university.

In retrospect, I am so glad I made the decision to take my music to another level. It gave me a regular social environment and in some cases, band practice was the best part of my week. University really is a stressful time, but what really helped me wasn’t necessarily playing in a band, but just having a stable constant there which you can use as support. I believe that this is one of the biggest reasons I was able to deal with my anxiety so well and to anyone who is currently struggling, I can’t stress enough how helpful it is to make time for yourself, and find something to help you unwind.

For help and advice whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.
Personal Pastoral Support at NTU (general worries and anxiety, homesickness, loneliness, a relationship breakup, or a bereavement)
Support from NTU
Silvercloud: SilverCloud is our online system designed to help with a range of mental health issues.
Depression advice
Counselling
Wellness in Mind: Advice and support for anyone in Nottingham experiencing issues with their mental wellbeing
Struggling at Uni? Go to Student Minds
10 Keys to happiness


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