And breathe! Controlling the Controllable

By Audition Oracle – Wed 18 Mar 2020 @ 12:56


BREATHE: White clouds in a blue sky

Hello fellow freelancers,

Welcome to 'Controlling the Controllable'. Over the coming weeks I'll be sharing some of the free resources around protecting your mental, physical and financial health that I've found useful when I moved from being a heavily in debt performer to a remote worker over the last seven years.

Marathon Not a Sprint

Rather than bombarding you all with too much information at once, I’ll be focusing on one thing at a time. Today, it’s time to stop and breathe.  Make sure you are in a safe environment to do this. 
  • Close your eyes
  • Take a natural breath in. counting as you do so
  • Pause
  • Take a comfortable but slightly longer exhale. Eg. Inhale 1, 2, 3, 4 - Pause - Exhale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Do this for 2 minutes or if you don’t have a timer to hand, do it for 20 breaths 
  • Stop reading this email and do it now. See you in two minutes 


Welcome back

How do you feel? Calmer? More focused? If so, you’ve just learned how to hack your vegus nerve and therefore your nervous system. Soothing your vegus nerve has many health benifits including
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Reducing stress
  • Improved immunity
Decide on a time tomorrow that you can do this and make sure that they are directly before or after one of your good daily habits. Eg. As soon as you wake up, get out of the shower or after brushing your teeth.

If you are an all or nothing person, avoid setting yourself unrealistic targets of “I’m going to do an hour of this each day” then beating yourself up when you don’t manage it so not doing it again for another week. Little, regularly and often. Choose your realistic and achievable plan of action below and stick to it. 


Feeling overwhelmed?

  • Set a specific time to practice your elongated exhale once a day for 2 minutes or 20 breaths
  • 2 minutes is 100% better than zero minutes
  • The important thing is to start

Comfortable with a bit more?

  • In addition, set an alarm at regular intervals to remind you to stop and breath for two minutes or 20 breaths as well as your chosen 2 minute 

Ready to take it further? Introducing you to Friendly Eyes

Friendly eyes is a fantastic online course developed by former professional tennis player Jackie Reardon to aid
  • better concentration
  • less stress
  • increased mental resilience
  • the ability to enjoy challenges such as AUDITIONS

Train your brain with

Sports personalities have been learning to train their minds through their breath for years. If you struggle with focus, concentration and audition or performance anxiety, I cannot recommend this resource enough. Barbara Hannigan endorses this programme. If you don’t know who Barbara Hannigan is, google her (but not now!) as she is an exceptional artist. 

You do not need to spend 100’s of pounds going to guru’s to train you to improve your concentration or audition anxiety. Unless you are prepared to put the work in and do any homework given, it’s unlikely to work. Take advantage of these free resources and any extra time you may have to train yourself, for free.
Happy breathing,
Melanie Lodge
Founder and Director of Audition Oracle

Caveat: All views are my own and not that of Audition Oracle. I am not a health, physical or financial professional. I’m simply sharing what I’ve found challenging and what has worked for me over the last seven years as a remote worker, as someone who at one time was heavily in debt, and as someone who has had to learn to develop healthy routines when working home alone.

If you need professional help, I urge you please to go and seek help from someone you are close to and/or one of the many free resources out there. Help Musicians UK has listed a number of Help Lines 


Further information on the scientific benifits of calming the vegus nerve