WHAT IS ANXIETY?

Anxiety is a feeling of fear or worry – it’s a normal human reaction to a threatening situation, but if it gets out of hand or exists as part of an illness it can cause real problems. 

People working in the music industry experience up to 10 x the rate of moderate to severe anxiety compared to people in general, and there are lots of things about working in the industry that contribute to that.

common TYPES of anxiety in MUSIC

Feeling anxious about performing to the point where it interferes with your ability or willingness to perform

Anxiety in social situation, being overly worried about what people will think of you which can make it hard to network

This is a personality trait but can be associated with anxiety, about creating and releasing work for example

Others include obsessive compulsive disorder – when you have repetitive, unwanted thoughts and you feel compelled to do things to get rid of them – or post traumatic stress disorder which can occur after a very traumatic experience. In some cases, anxiety can lead to panic attacks – when it can feel like you can’t breathe, your heart is beating fast and you think you are losing control, amongst other things.

What does anxiety look and feel like?

A GP or registered psychologist might recognise anxiety as a problem for you if you’ve regularly experienced a range of the following over a six month period:

  • Persistent worry about things that are out of proportion to their potential impact
  • Perceiving situations, events and people as threatening, even when they aren’t
  • Constant overthinking, catastrophising and imaging worst-case scenarios
  • Inability to set aside worry, relax and calm down
  • Difficultly concentrating, focusing and feeling like the mind “goes blank”
  • Muscle tension or aches
  • Trembling, fidgety and restless
  • Fatigue and trouble sleeping
  • Nausea, diarrhea or digestive issues

It’s important to note that some of these symptoms might also be due to the side-effects of medication, or drug and alcohol use. 

Why do people get anxious?

Anxiety appears to have a biological basis that evolved with us to help maintain our survival. Back when we existed in tribal communities for hundreds of thousands of years, it made sense to remain vigilant about our own and our tribe’s wellbeing. After all, if we were attacked by bears or plagued by starvation, it would likely be game over. 

Now, we exist in a world which is a great deal safer. However, our brain is still wired to pick up on things around us that might be interpreted as potential threats. When we find a threat, our nervous system switches into ‘Fight or Flight’ mode, revving up our heart rate, speeding up our breathing, making it hard to relax or focus. When this mode becomes our default, it can wreak havoc on our physical and mental wellbeing. 

How to deal with anxiety

Anxiety is exhausting. But it can be successfully managed through a range of therapeutic techniques, which include talk therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness practices. Sometimes, medication can assist in the treatment of anxiety too.

Ok…what now?

If you think you, or someone close to you, might be experiencing anxiety to the point at which it is disrupting daily functioning…

  • Open up and talk about it
  • See (or encourage someone to see) a GP to discuss symptoms and support options. (Aussie residents are also eligible for the Mental Health Care Plan, which can save you a good chunk of money off sessions with a registered psychologist) 
  • Find a mental health practitioner that’s right for you (ask around, get on Google or ask your GP for recommendations)

For more information about anxiety call the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline on 1800 959 500.

ARTICLES about ANXIETY

TOP 3 PODCASTS

Lifestyle and Habit Changes for Anxiety | 80 MIN
Hardcore Self Help Podcast

This episode of the Hardcore Self Help podcast discusses different structural changes and habits that you can make and build to further support your anxiety conquest.

Listen to Hardcore Self Help Podcast here.

Anxiety & Depression – It feels like you’re always getting ready for surprise doom with Felicity Ward | 59 MIN
Mental – The Podcast to Destigmatise Mental Health

Australian comedian Felicity Ward explores the interconnection between several common conditions and shares her perspective on mental health recovery.

Listen to Mental -The Podcast to Destigmatise Mental Health podcast here

Strategies for Managing Day-to-Day Anxiety | 47 MIN
The Anxious Achiever

Anxious Achiever podcast has 45 episodes full of stories and helpful advice on thriving with an anxious brain. In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele and former clinical psychologist Alice Boyes chat about the best daily habits and strategies to help manage anxiety.

Listen to The Anxious Achiever Here

TOP 3 BOOKS

The Mind Strength Method

by Jodie Lowinger

Anxiety

by Dr Mark Cross

Mastering Creative Anxiety

by Eric Maisel

TOP 3 APPS

Tide: Sleep, Focus, Meditation‬.

Tide integrates sleep meditation, relaxation and focus into one app.
With a bunch of different audio and soundscapes to explore while helping you relieve stress, stay focused, and relax.

Free on iOs and Android

Mind Shift CBT

Mind Shift uses therapy techniques to assist the user to learn to relax, be mindful and develop healthy thought patterns helping you to take active  charge of your anxiety.

Free on iOs and Android

iBreathe

iBreathe is a super simple breathing exercise app. Allowing an encouraging the uses to take a few minutes out of their day to breathe mindfully.

Free on iOs

VIDEOs about anxiety

On My Mind #2: Sitting With The Hard Stuff

Learning to identify and sit with difficult emotions and not let them rule you.