“Where attention goes, energy flows”
Hello Luna Tribe and the music world! My name is Amanda Chils, I’m a Clinical Mental Health Counselor in North Carolina and owner of Wildflower Counseling and Consulting. I’m back with more helpful tips for you, so let’s jam! If you are an artist / musician that was affected by the coronavirus pandemic and were reliant on live gigs for a myriad of reasons, there is a way to reallocate that energy! Apply this one simple method to get back on track.
One of my favorite topics is stress and how to manage/decrease it. If you are alive, you experience stress. Since you are reading this, congrats you are alive, and you have stress! I’m sure you know some people who seem to float through life not bothered by much and perhaps you think “those lucky people, everything is easy for them. They are always happy. I wish my life was easy too.” Here is a secret, their life is not free of worry, they use a very simple tactic to decrease stress and float about life.
YOU can be one of those people. You can use this one method to decrease 90% of your stress, and it is very simple. Are you ready to increase your energy, ability to focus and thrive? Here is the method:
Stop giving attention to what you can’t control and put your energy towards what you can control.
That’s it, that’s the secret. (But HOW do I do that Amanda? I hear you shout into the void.) You do this by understanding a few things:
- Where attention goes, energy flows. You will experience stressful thoughts or feelings; this is completely normal. You do not have to give your thoughts or feelings your attention.
- When you experience stressful thoughts/emotions, make note you are having them and return your attention to what you can control.
- When those thoughts/feelings come back, practice again – notice you are having them and return your attention to what you can control. Continue this process every time. Eventually the thoughts will have less power over you and come less and less.
- Continue applying your energy to what you can do.
For example, we cannot control the weather, the government or basically anything outside our own body and what we give our attention to. Heck, you can’t even control your brain, which is why the skill isn’t to control your thoughts, but to control your energy. You can and absolutely must control how you respond to your brain. You do not have to give every thought you think your attention, in fact I highly recommend that you don’t. Place your attention and energy on things you can control.
Another example for musicians, Coronavirus has cancelled live gigs for many performers, and those that rely on tips and live music to pay bills are hurting. This is where refocusing your attention is helpful. You can focus all your attention on the lack of live events, or you can focus your attention on getting creative about how to make money. Note that this doesn’t immediately lead to your situation changing, only your focus on the situation. You can wallow, or you can pivot.
- Perhaps you start a Youtube Channel and start playing music via Youtube Live, or Instagram Live. Connect with other artists and have virtual jam sessions and cross-pollinate followers?
- Perhaps you start teaching lessons online to friends or family who now need a hobby and something to do with their time. Perhaps you set up a Patreon account so people can donate to you. This is a great time to get creative, and that will only happen if you are focusing your attention on what you CAN control.
- Could you be promoting your merch right now?
If it is raining and you have outdoor plans, you cannot control that. You can control focusing on it all day to the point where you are mad all day, or you can control giving your attention to doing something else. You can control your muscles and your attention. Focus on what you can control in any given situation and release the rest. This way you aren’t spending precious energy and attention on things you can’t change, and you get very good at doing things that will make a difference. Using this simple (but not easy) tactic will give you more control over your life and decrease your stress because you are releasing responsibility for everything you have no control over.