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4 Depression-Busting New Year’s Resolutions for Vocalists

Have a better relationship with yourself and your vocal work in 2012 -says Eric Maisel

Many people find themselves regularly (and sometimes chronically) sad.

This sadness has for many decades routinely been converted into the “mental disorder” of “depression” by the labeling tactics of the mental health industry.

The sadness is real; the “depression” label is a label.

One huge resolution you can make in 2012 is to come to your own conclusions about the differences between “depression” and sadness.

You may come to realize that you don’t have a “mental disorder” but rather are challenged and troubled in ways that make you sad—and that you can do something about that!

Here are four resolutions to support you in that effort.

You might also want to use my book Rethinking Depression: How to Shed Mental Health Labels and Create Personal Meaning as part of that effort.

Resolution 1. I will focus more on where I intend to make meaning than on what mood I find myself in.
You might decide to make a lot of meaning in 2012 by paying new attention to your practice routine, your song creation, your marketplace efforts, and so on and by starting out each day asking “Where should I make some meaning today?” rather than “What mood am I in?”

Resolution 2. If I’m feeling sad, discouraged, anxious, or out of sorts, I won’t automatically label myself “depressed.”
You might decide to hold off on accepting a mental health label for yourself and look instead at what you can do to feel less sad: opting for self-talk that serves you better, changing unsatisfactory relationships, recommitting to your dreams, goals, and ambitions, trying out some new solutions to life’s intractable problems, and so on.

Resolution 3. I will make clear decisions every day about where I want to invest my time and energy.
You might decide to approach each day more energetically and more mindfully by starting each day with a “morning meaning check-in” where you decide where you want to invest meaning on that day: in your singing practice, in approaching the musical marketplace, in enjoying your loved ones, in being of service, in creating some new songs, and so on. Approaching each new day this way is a sure way to make meaning and making meaning helps reduce your experience of sadness.

Resolution 4. I will endeavor to prove the exception in every way.
Most people do not manifest their potential, carefully organize their days and their lives so as not to waste them, take necessary risks that would serve them, learn how to deal with the inevitable anxieties of life (including performance anxiety), reach powerfully into the marketplace, and so on. Decide that you will not be this ordinary; decide that you would prefer to prove the exception. That won’t be easy; but your hard-won results will make you proud—and go a long way toward keeping your sadness at bay.

Eric Maisel, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, bestselling author of 40 books, and widely regarded as America’s foremost creativity coach. His latest book is Rethinking Depression: How to Shed Mental Health Labels and Create Personal Meaning (New World Library, February, 2012). He is the founder of noimetic psychology, the new psychology of meaning. Please visit Dr. Maisel at www.ericmaisel.com or contact him at ericmaisel@hotmail.com. Learn more about noimetic psychology.

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