Forgive me if I reminisce a little!
The other day I heard a song that I’d not heard for ages. It took me back a few years, I can tell you!
And while I was mentally reliving years gone by, I realised how relevant this song still is to us all today! Some things just never change!
I’m talking about a song called ‘I Whistle a Happy Tune’, written by the brilliant Rodgers & Hammerstein and sung by the British governess Mrs Anna Leonowens in the hit musical ‘The King And I’. The musical was based on the true experiences of Anna and this song explains how she dealt with her private fears when she found herself in new and strange surroundings.
She taught these techniques to her young son – and now I’m explaining them to you!
This is a song that was copyrighted way back in 1951 but, take a look at the lyrics below and you’ll see that it’s aimed well and truly at all of us anxiety sufferers!
See what you think:
Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect,
And whistle a happy tune so no one will suspect I’m afraid.
While shivering in my shoes, I strike a careless pose
And whistle a happy tune and no one ever knows I’m afraid.
The result of this deception is very strange to tell,
For when I fool the people I fear,
I fool myself as well!
I whistle a happy tune and every single time,
The happiness in the tune convinces me that I’m not afraid.
Make believe you’re brave and the trick will take you far.
You may be as brave as you make believe you are!
©Rodgers & Hammerstein 1951
This could have been written especially for you!!
It sums up exactly what I’m always telling anxiety sufferers:
That if you behave as if you are confident (even if you don’t feel it inside) then you’ll trick your brain into believing you really ARE confident.
That your body language is important to the way you feel and how people treat you. Stand tall (‘hold my head erect’) and be counted!
That if you use distraction techniques (the whistling of a tune or such like) you’ll take your mind off any scary thoughts you may be having.
That people can’t always tell you’re feeling anxious even if you’re convinced they can.
That appearances can be deceptive (striking the ‘careless pose’). Look cool and collected and that’s how people will see you.
That positive happy thoughts (‘the happiness in the tune’) can usually override negative ones and help to reduce your anxiety levels.
That always having a ‘little trick’ in reserve (like whistling a happy tune, for example, even if it’s just silently in your head!) is an excellent stand by to have for those times when you need some extra help.
And we all know what a difference any of the above things can make to help you in anxious situations!
Have a think about how you deal with scary situations. Do you have a ‘happy tune’ you can call upon? If not, maybe you might find it helpful. Who knows, maybe you might find that actually it’s THIS song that stays in your head, ready for when you need it most!
Good luck, and happy whistling!