Even an introvert needs to get out and spend time with people every so often. In addition to routine outings and trips, it’s good to see new things and meet new people. When I stay home and my world stays small, then every little problem looms large. My art draws from the same small well of inspiration and starts to feel stale.
In order to get out and find inspiration, I like to take classes and learn new things. But, all the people and the new experiences can be scary and overwhelming. Luckily, I have a secret weapon.
When I feel myself curling up and tensing, when my shoulders start reaching for my ears and my head ducks, when I want to dart away and hide or shuffle my feet as I walk, then I know the stress is getting to me. Mentally, I play a calming tune, usually Edvard Grieg’s Morning Mood from Peer Gynt. I don’t know why that one seems to work best for me, but it does.
Shoulders back, head up, I glide to the music as I walk. I imagine I’m going to go talk to someone I feel comfortable around. Calm, I tell myself. The music plays on inside my head and I breathe out the tension and breathe in the calm.
I once wrote about how music can help with creativity. Music is also great for lifting moods. On down days, I play my current favorite musical selections for motivation. On Sundays, I play hymns and other sacred music. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
This weekend, I’m going to a writing conference. There will be lots of classes to take and lots and lots of people. I’m excited, but also very nervous. Luckily, Grieg is coming with me. As long as I remember the music, I know I can walk the halls with confidence and feel calm. Wish me luck!
What music do you find calming? Motivational? What is your favorite sacred music? Do you have any helpful tips for dealing with large crowds?