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      Wellbeing in and Through Performance: Perspectives From Sports and Music

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          Abstract

          Each day, millions of people perform. Whether in the boardroom, classroom, courtroom, laboratory, operating theater, on the field or on stage, performances are almost invariably dynamic and, in some cases, extremely rewarding. Nonetheless, each performance also brings challenges, real and perceived, that may lead to patterns of negative thinking, avoidance behavior, and debilitating injury that can have serious consequences for success and for health. In this article, we draw insight and inspiration from sports to focus on how elite performers from other fields—and in particular, music—can come to integrate healthy approaches to performing alongside their drive to succeed. Linking Performance and Wellbeing: Directions in Sports The popularity of sports psychology has grown substantially in the past two decades, and the importance of being mentally prepared prior to an athletic competition is now well-documented (von Treuer and Reynolds, 2017). Historically, sports psychology came about through the specific intention to enhance performance, but over time, the need to focus on athlete wellbeing as an integral part of performance has come sharply into focus (Sebbens et al., 2016). Indeed, very early in the field's development, negative consequences of performing at the highest levels–injuries, eating disorders, performance anxiety, occupational stress, and so on— surfaced in ways that were shown to influence directly how athletes lived and performed (MacIntyre et al., 2017). In other words, athletes face multiple and varied challenges that are inherent to their training and their work. When studying these phenomena, the self-regulation efforts that individuals use to alter their interaction with the environment to better meet their goals also need to be considered (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984). To be well prepared for a performance, emotions too should be self-regulated during the preparation and learning process. Foundational research into coping skills for managing competitive situations has emerged (Gould et al., 1993), with coping defined as the process of using “cognitive and behavioral effort to manage specific external and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person” (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984, p. 141). Research has demonstrated that failure to cope with acute stressors can have a detrimental impact on psychological processes and psychological balance (Smith, 1986). Positive coping strategies, conversely, offer wide-ranging benefits that facilitate performance success, which can be developed and reinforced through mental (or psychological) skills training. While there is a tendency to think of certain psychological strengths as necessary only in moments of crisis, mental skills are, in fact, cited as one of the essential components of athletic performance across the board (Durand-Bush and Salmela, 2002). While it is true that mental skills can help manage disruptive factors that impede or impair optimal performance, training to develop mental skills is central to personal development and to the enhancement of both performance and wellbeing throughout an athlete's career (Ducasse and Chamalidis, 2006). Lessons Learned From Sports: Perspectives on Advancing Performers' Health and Wellbeing in Music Wellbeing is a multidimensional phenomenon and refers to emotional and cognitive dimensions of subjective experiences resulting from the individual evaluation of several facets of life (Disabato et al., 2016). Considering the link between performance and wellbeing established in sports, some researchers have focused on implications for other performance domains. A particular emphasis has been placed on the arts, and music specifically, for the parallels between sport and music performance across a wide array of psychosocial demands that performers in both fields must manage (Williamon, 2004; Antonini Philippe and Güsewell, 2016). The studies highlight musicians' use, largely, of insufficient adaptation strategies to achieve positive health (Antonini Philippe, 2013; Antonini Philippe and Güsewell, 2016). A growing body of research shows that specific stressors and demands that musicians face in their training can manifest in performance-related pain and discomfort, performance anxiety, and occupational stress, all of which can be detrimental to wellbeing and pose significant barriers to performing effectively (Williamon and Thompson, 2006; Cruder et al., 2018). Recently, studies have focused on a more positive psychological approach to performance in order to encourage and reinforce health-promoting behaviors in conservatoires and schools of music (see Ascenso et al., 2017, 2018; Perkins et al., 2017). One study (Antonini Philippe et al., 2019) revealed that, for those students who commit to music professionally, more action is needed to support their health directly and to bolster the value placed on health, both by the musicians themselves as well as their teachers, administrators, and support staff. The results also highlight exciting new possibilities for intervention programs aimed at assisting musicians in drawing closer ties between improving health and enhancing performance, many of which have already been piloted and applied in sporting contexts (see Williamon et al., 2017). Further studies are now underway, for instance examining pre-performance routines and effective methods for recovering from acute stress, with the principal aim of developing musician-tailored mental skills training programs. By this, we mean “the systematic and consistent practice of mental or psychological skills for the purpose of enhancing performance, increasing enjoyment, or achieving greater… self-satisfaction” in performance (Weinberg and Gould, 2007, p. 250). We believe that progress in this area is as essential for musicians now as it has been for athletes over the past two decades. In doing so, we must be open to the prospects of knowledge transfer from the arts back to sports too, and onwards to other performance specialisms. Next Steps We recognize that there is a complex interaction between health and performance, and we suggest that future research must interrogate attitudes, behaviors, and indicators of well- and ill-being, with the aim of fostering positive approaches to training and performance both within single disciplines and, where appropriate, across them. In music, much is now happening to facilitate dialogue and apply research outcomes in training contexts (see Ginsborg et al., 2009; Wasley et al., 2012; Clark et al., 2013; Perkins et al., 2017). For instance, the Musical Impact project (funded by the United Kingdom's Arts and Humanities Research Council) revealed a strong desire—from musicians themselves, as well as those who train and employ them—for close collaboration in supporting and enhancing the health of performing artists (Araújo et al., 2017, 2020). The research team consequently worked with partners across the arts to constitute Healthy Conservatoires, an international network bringing together key stakeholders to share information, research, and good practice for advocating and advising on health in educational and professional settings 1 . Beyond the arts, performance scientists must seek to shape wider public health agendas, particularly as their research relates to the challenges and demands that people face each day when they perform. In this way, we will be well placed to identify ways in which performers in all sectors of society can thrive in their chosen activities, over sustained careers. Author Contributions All authors listed have made a substantial, direct and intellectual contribution to the work, and approved it for publication. Conflict of Interest The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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              Different types of well-being? A cross-cultural examination of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being.

              A large international sample was used to test whether hedonia (the experience of positive emotional states and satisfaction of desires) and eudaimonia (the presence of meaning and development of one's potentials) represent 1 overarching well-being construct or 2 related dimensions. A latent correlation of .96 presents negligible evidence for the discriminant validity between Diener's (1984) subjective well-being model of hedonia and Ryff's (1989) psychological well-being model of eudaimonia. When compared with known correlates of well-being (e.g., curiosity, gratitude), eudaimonia and hedonia showed very similar relationships, save goal-directed will and ways (i.e., hope), a meaning orientation to happiness, and grit. Identical analyses in subsamples of 7 geographical world regions revealed similar results around the globe. A single overarching construct more accurately reflects hedonia and eudaimonia when measured as self-reported subjective and psychological well-being. Nevertheless, measures of eudaimonia may contain aspects of meaningful goal-directedness unique from hedonia. (PsycINFO Database Record
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1664-1078
                06 March 2020
                2020
                : 11
                Affiliations
                1Centre for Performance Science, Royal College of Music , London, United Kingdom
                2Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London , London, United Kingdom
                3Laboratoire PHASE, Faculté des Sciences Sociales et Politiques, Institut des Sciences du Sport, Université de Lausanne , Lausanne, Switzerland
                Author notes

                Edited by: Mauro Murgia, University of Trieste, Italy

                Reviewed by: Selenia Di Fronso, Università Degli Studi G. D'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara, Italy

                *Correspondence: Aaron Williamon aaron.williamon@ 123456rcm.ac.uk

                This article was submitted to Movement Science and Sport Psychology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

                Article
                10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00399
                7067976
                Copyright © 2020 Williamon and Antonini Philippe.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 25, Pages: 3, Words: 2070
                Categories
                Psychology
                Opinion

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry

                wellbeing, sports, performance preparation, music, mental skills

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