Ways to De-Stress

October 28, 2014

Sometimes the world seems so nuts to me that I can hardly stand it. Without detailing the news of the moment, suffice it to say that I find myself not wanting to turn on the television or the radio these days so that I will not be bombarded by headlines that are depressing or outright frightening.

But I am decidedly not an advocate of the ‘Ostrich Solution’ – that is, just burying our heads in the sand and hoping things will get better. What I think we must do for our own sanity’s sake is to contribute to the solution. We can do that in a lot of ways.

We can of course contribute financially to organizations that we believe are promoting good in the world. We can also give our time to such organizations. One of The Discovery Orchestra’s donors has been on the Board of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) for more than fifteen years! The IRC “responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives.”

We can likewise do this on a very local level. There is always a foodbank or soup kitchen where we can give some of our time right in ‘our own backyard.’ Rolling up our sleeves and pitching in can be very beneficial for our states of mind when we are constantly besieged by dreadful news in the media.

Virginia Johnston, The Discovery Orchestra’s Executive Director, was recently honored for heading up – on a volunteer basis – Canticles for Life, which she also conducts! Canticles for Life has raised more than $100,000 over the last seventeen years benefiting individuals affected by HIV/Aids in New Jersey.

If so moved, we could decide to be employed by an organization that makes a positive difference in the world. This will likely involve moving from the for-profit sector into the non-profit sector of the economy – which will certainly have ramifications for our own personal bottom lines – but we may find that the psychological tradeoff is worth it.

We can also listen to music. As always, I stress the word listen. Taking the time to give our complete attention – for at least ten or fifteen minutes – to some incredibly moving music can do wonders. We can change our states of mind in a nanosecond by listening, and it’s better and a lot safer than drugs or alcohol! But just don’t take my word for it.

Here’s what attendees at our Discovery Concerts have to say about the listening experience!

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