Stress is a natural part of our lives, just like sleeping, breathing and wasting time in traffic. It's even good in small doses, as it increases our performance. When there is too much stress, there is anxiety, burnout and problems. That's bad stress. There is also a ton of information on the internet of how to recognise when you are stressed and what to do to avoid and/or cope with it. I will talk only about one small but powerful technique: music.
Music engages the right-hand side of your brain and works on levels that we do not consciously control or maybe even have awareness of. Right now, there is a lot of neuroscience research coming out about the different chemicals that get released when certain things happen. I am certain there is a paper somewhere proving that listening to some type of music releases those chemicals that help you cope with stress and boost your resilience.
Resilience - the ability to bounce off, not to give in to your stressors, overcome difficulties without overspending your emotional resources.Those of you who are familiar with the concept of anchoring in NLP, may see these songs as powerful anchors: they activate the same brain areas as when you felt on top of the world, loved, strong, resilient - and make you re-live those moments, giving you the boost that you need.
Music is a very intimate experience. So, the list below is only me sharing with you a few songs that mean something to me personally: take it as an idea, but for everyone this list will be different.
Here we go, starting from number 5 on the list...
#5 Alaska (Fangoria) - A Quien Le Importa
Not very well-known outside of Spain and sung only in Spanish, this is basically a version of "I Am What I Am" (from the great La Cage Aux Folles), and if we translate the title literally, it would be something along the lines of "Who cares?" A celebration of individuality and beating your own drum.
#4 Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer
An all-time karaoke favourite, this is a rock answer by John Bon Jovi to Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" and similar we'll-make-it-happen hit songs.
#3 Shirley Bassey - This Is My Life
Of course, it's Dame Shirley Bassey. The unmistakable voice of so many James Bond soundtracks, this is one of her earlier songs, the one that she Shirley brought along with her through her entire stage life.
#2 David Guetta - Titanium
It just gives you that extra kick in your step when you need it. A presentation? A tough conversation? First date? A must-have on your playlist.
#1 Cher - You Haven't Seen the Last of Me
The epitome of resilience... coming from the latest movie with Cher "Burlesque":