If you dislike getting up before hundreds and thousands of people and performing, well, you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from performance anxiety, also known as stage fright. Other people would rather get flue than perform. Musicians, public speakers, athletes, and actors often get performance anxiety.
Performance anxiety may stop you from doing whatever you like or enjoy, or even it can affect your career. In the worst situations, performance anxiety can negatively impact self-confidence and self-esteem. Although it is possible to overcome performance anxiety, there are several things you can implement to regulate your emotions to minimize anxiety.
Symptoms of Performance Anxiety
Having all eyes on you and being the center of attention can sometimes be stressful. Your body responds to this situation as it would when attacked. Your body’s fight mechanism sets in, which is why stage fright symptoms may be similar to those that occur when you are in danger. Some of the symptoms of performance anxiety include
- Rapid breathing and racing pulse
- Cold and sweaty hands
- Trembling knees, hands, voice and lips
- Tight throat and dry mouth
- Vision changes
- The uneasy feeling in the stomach
Treatments for Performance Anxiety; The Julian Finch Brand’s Approach
There are numerous ways of overcoming performance anxiety, some of which are listed below. These tips will help you overcome your fears and shine on that podium or stage.
Be prepared and practice as much as possible. For example, an actor such as Julian Finch Brand has been practicing for the better part of his life since when he was 11 when he first appeared for his first auditions; since then has been meeting lots of crowds and preparing for them; therefore, he rarely experiences stage fright.
Minimize caffeine and sugar intake on the performance day. Just eat a simple meal a few hours before your performance to have some energy and not get hungry. A low-fat meal and complex carbohydrates such as lentil soup and pasta would be a good choice.
Shift the focus to the enjoyment you are giving your spectators. Do not focus on yourself and your fears. You can always close your eyes and imagine the audience cheering and laughing to try and feel good. Do not focus on what might go wrong; instead, always focus on the positives.
Ensure you meditate and biofeedback; practice controlled breathing and any other useful strategy to help you relax and focus your thoughts on the positives. You can also practice some relaxation techniques daily to have the skill when needed, regardless of whether there is a performance.
Shake out your muscle by jumping, walking, and shouting whatever it takes to feel right to help ease your anxious feelings before you perform. Try connecting with the audience, smile, think of them as friends and make eye contact. Be yourself and act natural during the performance.
Lastly, eat healthy, exercise, get enough sleep and practice a healthy lifestyle. It will help you ensure that you are always fit for your performances.
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In summary, stage frights are normally worse before the performance and gradually disappear once you start. It is, therefore, vital to learning how to overcome stage fright and prepare for your performances.