• The Hey Mate Project

Managing Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety can prevent you from doing what you enjoy and can affect your career. Worst of all, performance anxiety can negatively affect your self-esteem and self-confidence.

What does Performance Anxiety look like?

Performance anxiety symptons may include:

  • Racing pulse and rapid breathing

  • Dry mouth and tight throat

  • Trembling hands, knees, lips, and voice

  • Sweaty and cold hands

  • Nausea and an uneasy feeling in your stomach

  • Vision changes

Although it may be impossible to totally overcome performance anxiety, there are many things you can do to control your emotions and reduce anxiety.

  • Be prepared: practice, practice, practice.

  • Limit caffeine the day of your performance.

  • Shift the focus off of yourself and your fear to the enjoyment you are providing your audience. Imagine them smiling and enjoying the performance.

  • Visualise your success. Don't focus on what could go wrong. Instead focus on the positive.

  • Practice controlled breathing, mindfulness and meditation.

  • Get plenty of sleep

  • Take a walk, jump up and down, shake out your muscles, or do whatever feels right.

  • Laugh when you can, it can help you relax.

Confronting your fears and learning ways to reduce and manage them can be empowering. Not only will it make you feel good about yourself, you may discover that you are a more confident performer, too.

These tips should help reduce performance anxiety. But if they don't, talk to a counselor or therapist trained in treating anxiety issues. You may benefit from more intensive therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, to help overcome performance anxiety.

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