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I started playing the piano at a very young age, and eventually became a piano teacher to help pay for college. I've always loved playing, and over the years have found the act of playing music, even with no audience present (for me, especially with no audience present!) to be an excellent stress reliever--one that I'm passing on to my kids. One of the reasons playing an instrument can work so well as a stress reliever is that it gets your mind and body off of your stressors (remember, we want to avoid rumination!) and in the present moment--it's one of those great mindfulness exercises in that sense. And playing an instrument can also bring the added benefits that come with listening to any beautiful music, which are manifold. (And as long as you play your instrument even slightly better than Ferris Buller plays clarinet, you're sharing the stress relief of music with your family or roommates at the same time!)

Playing music, or having another hobby that you enjoy--especially one that brings added dividends like beautiful music, a pretty blanket (as with knitting) or creative works of art (for you painters out there)--can be an excellent way to take your focus off of your stress, put it in the present moment, and get in touch with your passion and the things that make you uniquely 'you'.

The following resources can help you find a new stress relief hobby to try this week.

10 Great Hobbies for Stress Relief

Online Piano Lessons

Music Therapy and the Benefits of Music

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