First of all, you’re right: there’s a constant stream of bad news coming from all four corners of the globe. Every day. 2020 has been a brutal year, with the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking absolute havoc. And that’s excluding the ongoing sociopolitical unrest and upheaval in numerous countries. There’s really no need to get into specifics.
Reading or hearing about tragic or disturbing news and processing it can be very draining, especially when there’s so much of it. It can make you angry, anxious, and afraid, which in turn, impacts your interaction with others, your ability to work productively, as well as your ability to take good care of yourself.
It follows by implication that our clients, voice actors and the voice over industry as a whole have also been affected. Some of our clients have been forced by global lockdowns to close their businesses. Likewise, many voice actors in the industry have experienced professional as well as personal challenges including a sharp decline in the demand for their services.
In such a negatively-charged environment where the majority of your thoughts are overwhelmed by fear, anger, and perhaps resentment, how do you fight to stay hopeful and positive? How can you convince yourself to stay optimistic that things will get better, even if it may not look like it now?
Pay attention to your state of being
One of the most effective ways to remain positive amidst everything is by paying attention to your state of being. Simply put, your state of being refers to your overall emotional state. It may also be referred to as your disposition.
No one experiences just one single emotion throughout the day. Your emotional state keeps changing constantly. Sometimes, you feel low, sad or anxious, while other times, you feel happy, excited and energetic. Maybe you feel angry often too.
When your emotional state is low (which is the case for many people today because of the state of the world), it can be very difficult to pull yourself out of it and instead spiral into a depressive state of mind. Many of our clients and voice actors have told us that the COVID-19 pandemic has made them feel helpless and hopeless regarding their career.
You are what you think
Negative thoughts that are charged by stress can lead to lower self-confidence and poor self-image. The point is that your state of being dictates the kind of thoughts you have and when you are in an overwhelmed, distraught state, it is much easier for you to have negative thoughts and you are more likely to see the glass as half-empty.
Following the same principle, if your state of being is one that is happy, content, and grateful, it is easier to have positive thoughts, which in turn improves your creativity and productivity.
It’s easy for other people to simply say “just think positive” as if it was something as easy as turning a switch on and off. But by paying attention to your state of being and trying to shift it first, as opposed to trying to change your thoughts, you are more likely to see worthwhile results.
How you can improve your state of being
No matter how optimistic you may be intrinsically, there will be times when you are feeling low or a bit helpless. The voice over industry can be gruelling and competitive. Both clients and voice actors feel they have to be first past the post. It’s important to understand that you are not alone in feeling the way you do.
So, if you wish to improve your state of being, here are a few actionable steps you can take:
1. Be aware of the kind of content you are exposed to
While being updated on news and current affairs is important, it is equally important that you control your media and news exposure. Especially at a time like this, when there is not that much good news available. The escalating number of daily COVID-19 deaths is a good example!
2. Surround yourself with people you love
One of the best ways to be in a grateful state of mind is to surround yourself with friends and family. This keeps you grounded in reality and not feeling so alone.
3. Spend time with nature
It’s true that nature has amazing healing properties. Even spending half an hour in the park or basking in the sun can work wonders for you.
4. Engage in physical activity every day
Whether it’s hitting the gym, jogging, or taking an evening walk, engaging in some kind of physical activity every day is important for your state of being.
It really is tough out there. As a client of Voice123 or one of our voice actors, you’re part of a community too!
Never forget that.
Keep safe and stay well.