Would you like some help in balancing your emotional and mental state? Yearning to gain a new perspective? Or, looking to develop your sense of inner strength as a singer? We’re going to dive into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy a method for accomplishing reflection and personal growth in our singer lives. I know I certainly have benefitted from some of these techniques in the last week.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Creative Professionals
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a short-term method that is goal-driven. It is a very hands-on and practical method that you can use to reach emotional resilience and mental strength. The primary goal is to change our individual mindset and/or behavior. CBT asks us to put forth the difficulties we may be experiencing at any given time and reflect on those challenges for future gain. I want us, as divas, to feel like we can weather emotional storms and feel mentally strong in this long game.
Show Your (Inner) Work + Infographic!
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses primarily on principles, attitudes, dreams, and beliefs on a daily basis. Using CBT can provide insight on how your thinking process can be associated with your day-to-day emotional and mental state. Cognitive Restructuring is one exercise example that we’re going to focus on here. The purpose of this exercise is to focus on an individual’s pattern of thinking and find alternative ways to solve an existing problem. If you feel pulled toward primarily negative thinking, restructuring can really help change your perspective. By taking your unhelpful thoughts like “I’m bad at singing coloratura” or “my voice doesn’t move” and asking yourself things like “is there any evidence that contradicts these thoughts?” or “what would I tell a friend who brought me this same concern?” you can put a detour in that negative thought process spiral. Remember, you need to replace negative thoughts with valid, true positive thoughts. Rationalizations won’t help. Furthermore, rationalizations won’t help you see the fallacy in your negative thoughts. Need some help practicing? I made an infographic for you! If you like this CBT strategies helper, I hope you’ll take a moment and sign up for the Sybaritic Faithful email list for more helpful, exclusive content just like it.
More CBT Exercises for Singers
Active Scheduling encourages us to be more engaged towards going out of our comfort zones in order to gain a new perspective. Singers are usually pretty good at this. However, we may lose the drive to go outside of our comfort zones as we progress in our careers or start to gain recognition. It’s important for us to actively schedule things like lessons, auditions, masterclasses, coachings and more to gain insight which might feel like “getting negative feedback.” However, we can prepare our minds, using exercises like restructuring, to realize that we’re using each one of those events as growth opportunities.
Graded Exposure helps to decrease fear and anxiety by addressing what tends to be avoided and get to the root of psychological difficulties. Graded exposure is exactly the reason why I tell my younger students that doing auditions is like putting deposits into the bank account of your career no matter the outcome. You must do a lot of auditions to expose yourself to that situation so that you can do better with each outing. No one expects you to be great at it your first time. You get better. As you become more skilled, you can start to pinpoint the psychological difficulties you experience when gearing up for auditions. Then, start taking actions to work through those areas of difficulty as part of your practice sessions. Don’t wait to be blindsided during high-pressure events. Do the work now and take notes for next time.
Mindfulness Meditation is another exercise. The focus of Mindfulness Meditation is to take in fully what is happening in the present. What makes mindfulness meditation useful? The focus is on your current state. It is a practice in which we focus on the breath, bodily sensations, and mental relaxation. Mindfulness is one of the single most helpful aspects when it comes to making progress in singing. It changes everything: your ability to make technique changes, your ability to “see” yourself on stage as you are performing, your ability to let go of “noise” in your mind as you’re engaged in focused activity. Including a “body scan” at the beginning of your practice session can be transformative in your singing.
How Will You Incorporate CBT?
These exercises can be used on a daily basis to increase emotional resilience and mental strength. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help us explore and develop a new perspective. A new perspective can help emotions to be in tune and achieving mental strength possible. Finding alternate solutions can exercise the mind mentally. How can you incorporate CBT into your daily activities? What would a new perspective mean to your singing life now?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a great way to release and adapt to inner emotions without letting them derail your life. Our lives are full of mental and emotional complications. It is a cost of the job sometimes. But, we can take these steps to strengthening our resilience and having an overall better experience rather than feeling like “victims” to the career.
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