The many twists and turns of making your own music your career can have a savage impact on your wallet, on relationships and, mainly and most frequently, on your mental health. Over the last few years, it’s been refreshing to see artists come out and talk freely and with impunity about how they have suffered and how they recovered.
It wasn’t too long ago that if you showed any sign of weakness at all, it felt as if you risked losing it all. Thankfully labels, managers, and friends are starting to become a little more versed in the struggles of a musician. And, in turn, are giving artists a little more breathing room. It still has a long way to go, but the signs are good.
Indian insight
Recently, fans of pop duo Parekh & Singh were in for some disappointment when the Kolkata artistes canceled their India tour this month. Nischay Parekh put up a post admitting that his decade of playing live music has come with anxiety, stress, and now depression, citing that the logistical challenges have pushed him over the edge, he was showered with nothing but hope and consideration from fans.
This development finds resonance in a recent Swedish survey, which revealed that 73 per of independent artists have suffered from mental illness and a third from panic attacks. A fact that comes as no surprise considering the uncertainty that comes with the job – figuring out what music you like and want to create, and if the audience will reciprocate, while also making sure what you compose helps you earn a living. 
Pursuing a career in the creative fields often comes riddled with similar problems that independent musicians face.If you dread the thought of getting up in front of a group of people and performing, you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from performance anxiety, commonly called “stage fright.” In fact, most people would rather get the flu than perform. Athletes, musicians, actors, and public speakers often get performance anxiety.

Performance anxiety can prevent you from doing what you enjoy and can affect your career. Worst of all, performance anxiety can negatively affect your self-esteem and self-confidence. Although it may be impossible to totally overcome performance anxiety, there are many things you can do to control your emotions and reduce anxiety.

Tackle panic attacks
  • An anxiety or panic attack lasts three to 10 minutes. It’s crucial to not try to calm yourself down and instead focus on doing something else to tide through that time. Walking helps as does taking deep breaths.
  • Ensure you have an alternative creative outlet. Start expanding the scope of your work so that you don’t feel stifled and some other passion can give you a sense of joy.
  • Having reminders of your own past performances, any positive feedback from people, even on social media, helps.
  • Get some fresh air. Don’t smoke when anxious.
  • Do not drink alcohol and maintain a healthy lifestyle

Loudest Take

While mental health issues have plagued artists since time beginning, it is refreshing to see how such announcements are being socially accepted and fans and patrons are even willing to help.

Parekh & Singh’s revelation can encourage artists to come forward with their struggles and even improve the conditions for the industry that is taxing on the talent involved.

Author

Likes to write about music like she likes to sing; in public but for private gratification.

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