Why Every Musician Should Learn Meditation
The music business is tough, and constant stress and fear of failure can take their toll on a person. Here, we look at how meditation can not only help musicians cope with stress, but also improve their focus and mental clarity.
Guest post by Randi Zimmerman of the Symphonic Blog
This industry is tough. At every turn, you’ll be met with trials and tribulations. With that comes anxiety, stress, and a fear of failure that can be hard to shake. While many people find success with prescribed medication, we understand that many of you are on the hunt for other methods. From Katy Perry to Paul McCartney, many musicians have found solace in meditation. If you’re an artist looking for more creative clarity, meditation could be your way in.
Here’s Why Every Musician Should Learn to Meditate
We all suffer from various stressors in our lives. Whether it’s stress from a creative writing block or from your manager breathing down your neck, meditation is a healthy and effective way to balance your thoughts and work through them accordingly.
Meditation forces you to sit down, close your eyes, and take the moment to recognize that what you’re feeling is normal. It gives you a chance to relax your mind and take note of exactly what it is that’s causing you to feel this way. Once you accept this feeling, you can grab a hold of it, assess what you can do about it, and move past forward with an actionable plan.
Anxiety is a feeling that can creep up at any time. Nobody sits back and says, “Wow, I’d really love to feel anxious right about now…” It’s just something that happens. For musicians, this can be exceptionally frustrating in an industry where you’re told to be tough, cutthroat, and confident, all the time. But how tough can you be while you’re anxious?
One of the best ways to keep your focus and move with confidence is to have a calm mind. Meditation can do just that. It’s less about clearing your mind and all about being mindFULL.
The next time you get anxious before going onstage or walking into a big meeting, here’s what you can do…
- Sit comfortably with the best posture you can manage. (Try sitting on a chair or on the floor with your legs crossed.)
- Breathe in through your nose for four counts. (You should count at approximately one beat per second. If you have a metronome handy, use it!)
- Hold that deep breath in your lungs for four counts.
- Exhale through your mouth for four counts.
- Hold with your lungs empty for four counts.
Repeat this process four to six times or until you feel calmer, steadier, and ready to rock n’ roll.
As an independent musician, you’ve got a lot on your plate. You have songs to write, people to meet, campaigns to plan, networking to master, all while trying to be more creative than you were yesterday. It’s completely normal to feel stressed about getting everything done perfectly.
If you don’t let these feelings loose, there will come a time where it all bubbles over. Meditation can help you find a balance between working overtime and giving yourself a much needed pat on the back. You can’t go full speed all day, every day and expect to never burn out. With a calm mind, you’re in control.
- Meditation Oak is a great meditation app for beginners and veterans alike. Yes, meditation can be challenging, but stick with it. As little as 10 minutes a day can work wonders.
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We all know how important a good night’s rest is for the mind and body. (and soul, if you ask me…) With so much on your plate, it’s easy to lay awake at night thinking of what you could’ve done better. This feeling of possible failure is one that runs rampant among creatives everywhere. We all go through it. Independent musicians especially feel this pressure.
- If you struggle with a restless mind at the end of the day, try to meditate before your head hits the pillow. Take the moment to breathe, and once your brain is nice and calm, sleep will come more easily than ever.
Mental health is just as important as every other step in your daily routine. By taking a step back to clear your mind, you can see your tasks more clearly, redirect your focus to what really matters, and move forward with confidence.