Performance anxiety is the mind and body’s reaction to an unfamiliar, stressful, or dangerous situation or event. This type of anxiety can occur in various circumstances and can impact people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. It also comes in many different subtypes including stage fright, test-taking anxiety, interview anxiety, as well as athletic and sexual performance anxiety. Performance anxiety can be detrimental to your achievement and success but overcoming this dilemma is an absolute possibility.
Practice Mindfulness and Self-Care
Mindfulness is your ability to be fully present at a particular moment without making any judgment or assessment of what’s going on around you. It is a special ability that you can acquire through meditation and is fostered through habitual practice. Being mindful will allow you to stay calm and quiet both in your thoughts and emotion. It is a great way to keep all your worries and what-ifs at bay.
Lack of confidence is one of the top reasons why people experience performance anxiety which is why it is highly important to take good care of yourself. Self-care can be as simple as indulging in a long and relaxing bath or drinking lots of water to improve your skin. When you care about yourself, you will be able to acquire that certain glow and then you can be confident about yourself. You can then take center stage feeling less anxious knowing that you have the edge to be there. Keep up wti the latest Wellness trends to keep your mind and body in the best possible condition.
More Sleep and Less Caffeine
Sleep is one of your best weapons in overcoming performance anxiety, so make sure that you get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night in order to decrease amygdala reactivity. Amygdala is a group of brain neurons responsible for the processing of emotional responses such as fear, anxiety, and aggression. Depriving yourself of sleep will amplify the reactivity of the amygdala and increase the chances of performance anxiety to occur.
Caffeine intake can cause you to palpitate which can make your performance anxiety kick into overdrive. It increases your stress hormones and it is a great contributing factor to insomnia. So, if you really can’t stop yourself from drinking coffee, then at least try to avoid it on the day when you’re expected to perform.
Control Thoughts and Tame Muscles
The inner voice can be a source of fear, worry, and negative thoughts but by acknowledging these stressors, you can turn the tables and change your narrative. Control your thoughts by allowing positivity to take over your inner voice. For instance, if you’re worried that you might look awkward while delivering your speech, then change your thought by thinking that you have prepared for everything which means that you have a great chance of performing the task to the best of your ability.
Also, when you’re under stress, notice that the muscles of your jaw, mouth, and neck stiffen, these muscles would then relax once the stressful situation disappears. You can actually tame these muscles even at the height of the moment through a simple exercise called progressive muscle relaxation.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Medication Management
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a type of treatment that can redress performance anxiety by gradually changing your thinking and behavioral pattern. It will allow you to tackle the causes of your anxiety in a safe and controlled environment using a method that actually works. CBT is also used to treat other psychological disorders but it is more effective when used for conditions where anxiety is the main reason for the disorder.
CBT isn’t entirely complete in itself when it comes to treating performance anxiety for it is often paired with medication management. It is commonly accompanied by an outpatient treatment strategy and depending on the evaluation, the patient may be prescribed an SSRI, SNRI, or benzodiazepine medication.
Every performance that you deliver offers an opportunity for greatness and it is up to you to seize each moment of success. Performance anxiety may be hindering you right now but there is definitely something that you can do about it. Living free from performance anxiety will require you to sacrifice a little and care for yourself a little more but at the end of the day, you are worthy of all your effort and you deserve that better life that lies ahead.