Welcome back Vibrant Fam! To begin I just want to say that I am by far no expert in any of this, what I talk about may or may not work for you and that's okay -- this journey you're on may require different skill sets and techniques that are better suited for you.
I wanted to talk about anxiety today because it has become increasingly prevalent within the world but also within the music scene. This feeling can be inhibiting and prevent you from excelling in areas that you are striving for success at. Anxiety can strike anytime, anywhere and can show itself in multiple ways. One thing in particular that I have noticed within the music scene dealing with anxiety is the prevalence of substance usage to numb or hinder that impending feeling of anxiety. This can range anywhere from binge drinking to an incredible amount of combinations of all sorts of subs. While I completely understand the thought behind it all and have ventured into all this before in hopes of curing my incredible anxiety-- what I found was I actually became more anxious due to the usage. Crazy!? Right? It makes perfect sense though while alcohol can lower inhibitions it is not actually doing anything to hinder that anxious feeling building up, which can cause you, or at least in my experience, to binge drink to the point you may just make yourself look silly. The same can be said for any substance found in night life, so many substances used particularly for breaking the ice increase your heart rate which in turn can lead to an increased feeling of anxiety. The evil master plan can sometimes do a turn on itself and end up being a greater cause of anxiety than previously experienced. So, with little tidbits like that, it left me wondering what could be done to help my anxiety in situations where I felt too socially awkward to function and eventually would get an anxiety attack due to silly circumstances. I pushed myself into these areas of making myself separate from any outside factors that could increase my anxiety -- aka I separated myself from party culture for a bit to take a look inside myself. I did the oh so typical and practiced meditation in conjunction with deleting social media and found myself becoming more aware of myself as well as those I interacted with. That awareness alone assisted in how I would interact with people and my anxiety in those situations was exponentially lower than prior (listen, I had a jaw dropping moment too, it's okay). I was taking care of myself and allowing a self-reflection I had not allowed before which therefore permitted me to be more anxiety free when going out or socializing. This was weird because too many things are prevalent and encouraged in night life and especially the #music #industry -- drinking when networking, I guarantee you will see someone with a baggie wandering around the venue or in the green room and someone is always smoking weed. The pressure to partake can be extreme but this is not about peer pressure it's an inward pressure to tame whatever social anxiety/anxiety you feel flaring up. Another method I have realized that really helps in moments of ridiculous anxiety is the 4-7-8 method which is breathing exercise in which you breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. This method alone has saved my ass on days where my anxiety flares up or even when I need calming down. On top of that it is a fairly inconspicuous breathing exercise that you can do anytime, do it a few times and you will be calmer in no time. All of this to say -- most of us can relate to the incredible burden of #anxiety within the industry. So many artists are coming out about their experiences with mental health and their experiences on how they've tried to tame that inner beast -- the most important thing is knowing and understanding you are not alone. Allow yourself to feel the vulnerability in that and to self-reflect, sometimes the biggest help is learning to show yourself a little compassion and understanding in those moments of anxiety. Listen to your body, actually listen and the answers you will find may surprise you. Much love Vibrant Fam and until next time: Spread Love, Spread Light, Stay Vibrant~