Music Mondays - Joel's spin.
So, let’s start with the facts “University of Westminster, investigated 2,211 musicians, 71.1% of whom said they had suffered from panic attacks or anxiety, with 68.5% saying they had struggled with depression. While relationships with family and the support of close friends and partners are highly valued, they are also “open to abuse and feelings of guilt”. Plus, “musicians often lack the financial means to seek professional support.” So, this feels like a power keg ready to explode and personally I feel like it already has with artist 4 times more likely to kill themselves. These are all facts that I have only discovered in the past few years and have allowed me to really get to grips on where It was all going wrong for me and what was ultimately making me miserable. That is not to say that this is all going to be fixed tomorrow because mental health is exactly like physical health; some days you wake up and think fuck this and some days you’ve eaten a bag of kale before 6am, ran to work and mapped out your life as a fitness influencer on Instagram; it peaks and troughs. But what I am saying is making sure that you are constantly checking in on yourself and asking yourself if you are okay is key to maintaining happiness for long periods of time. You know that six-hour afters after attending a seven-hour rave isn’t going to do you any favours so call it a day at a sensible time and allow your brain to catch up with reality.
Don’t focus just on music (a lot of people hate me for this and call me a “music traitor” or “not passionate”), I took up cycling and set myself achievable goals, competition shouldn’t be an external pressure, it should be internal, work hard to achieve it. Once it is over whether you have achieved it or not, sit back and reflect on the process highlighting the times you got out of bed when it was pissing with rain and you went on a 50 mile ride and smashed a personal best. Keep doing this and it will teach your brain that you can do it no matter how hard it tells you that you can’t. Do what works for you though- if you don’t want to don lycra and buy a bike (completely understandable), take up knitting, climb a tree, find something that is outside of your familiar bubble and use it to train your brain to think more positively.
You can’t change a situation, but you can change the way you think about a situation. Never try and change things out of your control because sometimes it will work in your favour but often it won’t.
Be selfish and don’t try and take on too many people’s problems or stresses, happiness starts with you, make yourself happy and that is one less person to worry about.
Finally, why do one million people a year come to a small town in Italy called Pisa? Imperfections shape you so don’t reject them, embrace them and you might become your own leaning tower.