I used to love baking.
One thing that fascinated me about baking is the chemistry of it. You have all these ingredients that you have to put together in a certain order in specific quantities to get the final baked deliciousness.
One of the hallmarks of a good baker is getting a perfect meringue. Light and airy, crispy on the outside with just a bit of chew on the inside.
But there are so many things that can go wrong along the way.
No fat can touch them, so that means that you can’t have a speck of yolk in the egg whites. No oil residue in the bowl or on the beaters. Otherwise the egg whites won’t beat up properly.
Then the beating itself - you have to add the sugar just so, so they don’t end up grainy, and get the whites to form perfect peaks. Beat too long and they start disintegrating again.
Then the preparation of the sheets for baking - it has to be parchment paper. Oven temp and baking time. They ALL matter.
The point of all this is that, like with getting the perfect meringue, looking after your voices so that you have a well-balanced instrument has a lot of components to it, too.
And like the meringue a lot of things can go wrong along the way. These are the stressors in our lives.
Often when we think about stress we think about the emotional overwhelm that we feel from situations, but there are actually many other stressors that you may not be aware of and may not be causing an obvious fight or flight response.
Accumulated stress can cause the throat to constrict and prevent you from being able to fully and freely express yourself through singing, so it’s important to stay on top of it.
There are four main categories of stress.
Psychological, psycho-social and psycho-spiritual stress are clearly in the realm of the mind and the first thing most people think of when you mention stress.
The mind and body are often thought of as separate and because of that physical stressors are often overlooked in how they impact the mind and voice. When talking about stress it is more usual to talk about the impact stress has on the body than the other way around.
However, a preliminary study showed that physical and psychosocial stressors interact to increase stress in ways not explainable by the stressors alone. And over time these acute stressors can accumulate to cause chronic stress, more tension, illness and vocal issues.
Increasing your capacity for a reliable voice
That’s why looking after physical health is so important to able to cope with stress and sing with a reliable resilient voice.
The stronger and healthier your body is, the greater your capacity to deal with the stress of a busy singer’s life. And let’s face it, the past year with the pandemic has been a very stressful one.
Are you looking after your physical health to improve your stress resilience for freer, more confident singing? If you’d like to explore a holistic approach that includes work on body, mind and voice then download my free e-guide Top Tips to Release Tension and Lift Energy for Singers.
Hi, I'm Elizabeth! I'm your guide on your vocal journey. I work with singers - Voice Students of all ages, Singing Teachers and Choristers - basically anyone who LOVES to Sing and wants to free their voice.