Do you struggle with performance anxiety or mindset and confidence? You are not alone. Sometimes addressing non-musical things can really help the issue at hand, speaking from a teacher and performer lens.
Here are a few non-musical ways to help you (or your child) experience success in addressing performance anxiety or general confidence and anxiety. Read on to the end to get a free recipe for my concentration and focus blend.
1. Encourage a Growth Mindset
Growth Mindset is not a new concept, but it is especially important when tackling difficult tasks or subjects. Studies show that if people believe they can do something, even if it is difficult and they may not get it right away, they learn it better, retain it longer, and stick with the hard task longer if they have a growth mindset.
Encourage your inner self to use phrases such as "Mistakes help me grow." or "My intelligence can be developed." or "I keep trying and never give up!" instead of "I'm not good at it." or "I give up easily.'
2. Get Good Sleep
“Daytime thinking is a building process, whereas nighttime thinking is a sorting process.”
― Caroline Leaf, Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health
Did you know that people with sleep issues are often misdiagnosed with attention or learning issues? This is because our brains make sense of and sort our experiences at nighttime from during the daytime. When we don't get enough good sleep at night, our brain isn't able to "download" and synthesize what we took in from the previous day. So maybe you did a lot of great learning and made progress the day before, but if you didn't sleep well or long enough, that learning may be lost. There are so many other reasons sleep is vital to health and wellness and learning! Read a scholarly example here.
Set a bedtime routine and stick to it! If you need ideas, I shared 11 tried and true ways to get better sleep here that can be adapted very well for anyone, including kids.
3. Strengthen Left- and Right-Brain Connections
Do you enjoy some activities that are completely unrelated to performing? Of course you do! There are many studies that show certain activities (like purposeful cross-body movement) strengthen the pathways in the brain between the two hemispheres. What does this have to do with performing? Well, music often requires that these pathways be strong. When practicing using these pathways, it's like exercising a muscle and will get stronger with use. The stronger you build a muscle, the stronger you feel when something heavy comes along that you have to pick up. By building strong pathways with something different -- like movement -- you can come back to it feeling stronger, like it is a bit less heavy than last time.
In the middle of a moment of anxiety or performing (or perhaps even right before it!), do this active listening + movement piece to activate those multiple areas of the brain.
"I Can Do This!" Focus & Concentration Roller Blend
10 drops Peppermint essential oil
10 drops Frankincense essential oil
15 drops Lemon essential oil
15 drops Stress Away essential oil
Add these essential oils to a 10 ml roller bottle and fill with carrier oil.
Roll on wrists, collar bone, bottom of feet, or the back of neck before tackling a difficult task.
It is very important to know that not all essential oils are created equal...
You can’t just go out to a big box store (or anywhere online) and trust that you’re getting the good stuff. Lucky for you, I’ve got a source I trust – want to know more? Click the button in the top corner to contact me.
Oils consist of hundreds of different natural, organic compounds.
In humans, they provide support for every system in the body: your skeletal system, muscular system, circulatory system, endocrine system, hormones, respiratory system, and immune system. They support brain health and a healthy weight. They are used extensively for spiritual support in prayer life, as well as emotional support.
They have been used for thousands of years as beauty aids.
If you walk into a grocery store and look at a box of cereal, you’ll see nutrition facts on the side. There are no “nutrition facts” on the side of oils. That means you have to trust the source. You have to know the company you are purchasing from. How oils impact our emotions and bodies is a really important reason to get the purest, since not all oils are created equal. You can learn more about that here in this blog post.
Thankfully, you do not need to be an aromatherapist to use them. Not sure where to get started?
Overall, I'm a fan of utilizing the sense of smell, which taps into a different, older part of the brain than visual or aural encouragements or clues. Why the sense of smell?
Our olfactory senses are actually housed within the limbic system, the parts of our brain that deal with memory and emotions. So by using the sense of smell, we can affect our memories and emotions! How can we harness this to change habits?
When essential oils are inhaled through the nose, aromatic molecules are carried through the lining of the nasal cavity by tiny olfactory nerves, located in the roof of the inner nose, to the part of the brain called the limbic system. This limbic system in turn influences the endocrine system and the autonomic nervous system.