I’m in the process of applying for funding to do workshops for my musical. Again, there has been stress, worry, and anxiety. But this time I’m handling it quite well. I know how to deal with the unwanted emotions, feelings and physical discomforts that come with them. It is because I have kept on learning strategies and practicing them that help me through. Here, I would like to share what I’ve learned and what I’ve found useful with those who need them.
It’s inevitable that I worry; I worry about not being qualified; I worry about not doing it correctly; I worry about not meeting the deadline… I lacked confidence. I did not trust my decisions. I was impatient. Recently I have been learning some self-help techniques which not only help me to relax but I can sleep. Usually, when I have something I was not certain of, like the unknown of the future, the unknown of whether my plan will work, something I thought was out of my control, I couldn’t sleep. This time, with some old self-help techniques and some newly acquired ones I stay relaxed, and anxiety is gone. Of course, I still worry, but I turn the good worry into motivation and drive myself to find solutions. I also accept that if it comes to a failure, I’ll take it as a fact that I cannot actually do anything about it except to learn from it and find other ways or wait till the next opportunity.
I have learned to draw up a joyful memory, for example, a beautiful scenery which has made me so happy and peaceful, with my eyes closed, visualize it, sense all the good sensations that come with it, deep breaths, say in my mind description like ‘I’m peaceful’ or ‘beautiful’ or any other positive ones. Then feel how my body reacts. When I do that my brain is relaxed, I’m energized, I feel calm. After that I will do something I’d love to do, it can be singing, dancing, Chinese calligraphy, or any art I enjoy doing. Then I’m totally distracted from what’s bothering me. When it is bedtime I make sure that I’m tired enough to sleep, and I make sure that I am relaxed; if I have doubts I do the imagery exercise until I’m relaxed before heading to sleep. Our minds can change our brains. It is because of brain plasticity, when we practice self-techniques consistently, repetitively, new pathways can be created that change our behavior. It gets easier and quicker for me to feel relaxed when I use self-help techniques often.
We need the courage to change things. One of my weaknesses is lacking confidence. I was not sure whether I had done things the correct way. I always need assurances. Then with these self-help techniques, especially the imagery one, I concentrate on positive thoughts. I become more assertive, trust my decisions, and have patience.
I am impatient, impulsive, and I am overwhelmed easily. With these self-help techniques, I have found ways to become better. I learn and I grow. I believe my future will be good.