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How To Combat Performance Anxiety

The Role Of Mindfulness And Meditation

How To Combat Performance Anxiety

Anxiety can be a distraction, making athletes think about the outcome instead of concentrating on the execution. Through mindfulness and meditation, athletes can focus their energy and awareness on execution, and thus the distraction of the result will melt away.

Both practices help cultivate intentional awareness on a single point of focus and hold it there. It also increases the time between an initial thought or intention and the moment of action. Between thought and action is an entire world of possibility.

Tip : Practice Relaxation Exercises

If you’ve ever sought out help for anxiety in the past, then you’ve no doubt come across relaxation strategies like visualization, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and others. You may have even tried them, and if you have, you probably didn’t experience that much success.

That’s because what these people don’t tell you is that it can take a long time to feel the benefit. Part of the reason for this is because in the beginning, all you’re doing is thinking about how to do them correctly and whether or not they’ll work. Your mind gets caught up in analysing rather than actually relaxing.

We’ve said time and time again that you cannot hope to fight anxiety if you are thinking about it too much. So when you start any relaxation exercise, you’re thinking about how it makes you feel and what it does, and whether you’re doing it right, and how ridiculous it feels, and so on. This is natural when trying something new. You’re doing nothing but thinking, because the relaxation exercise isn’t natural to you yet.

For it to be effective, you have to keep doing it and expect little results until the exercise itself becomes both boring and second nature. As soon as you’re able to perform the relaxation exercise without thinking about it or focusing on each individual part, that’s when it should start working for you.

Remedies For Performance Anxiety

Like other forms of anxiety, the physical symptoms of performance anxiety are due to activation of the bodys sympathetic nervous system, also known as the fight-or-flight system .

And as with other forms of anxiety, theres some evidence that relaxation techniques and other calming practices can help. Some helpful relaxation techniques include progressive muscle relaxation and yoga . Some anti-anxiety drugs may also be effective, although these usually arent go-to remedies for performance anxiety .

Many different forms of psychotherapy can be helpful. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy has evidence backing its benefits for several different types of performance anxiety .

CBT may involve coming up with new ways to think about situations that cause you anxiety. CBT can also teach you new techniques to cope with performance anxiety and helpful ways to confront the source of your anxiety to change your brain and bodys response to it .

Also Check: How To Handle Health Anxiety

Technique : Let Go Of Expectations

The fourth technique in overcoming performance anxiety is all about where you put your focus. Before any anxiety inducing event, our minds are often inundated with thoughts about how we want it to go.

But there are so many different factors that could play into the outcome, that it is a losing battle to try and control.

Expectations are the ideas that we have about how something should be, or how an event should go. While this may seem like a positive way of thinking, it actually holds you back from peak performance, and causes more anxiety.

These feelings keep you out of the moment and take you away from your flow.

To let go of expectations is extremely difficult due to our constant desire for success. In order to achieve something, its common to become so focused and consumed on the end result.

However, by learning to let that go and become process oriented, your performances will become much more natural and effortless.

A phrase that really resonates with me when thinking about letting go of expectations is, Set it and forget it.

This is referring to when you set the intention for what it is youd like to accomplish. Because remember, letting go of expectations does not mean having no goals. In fact, I advocate for setting goals in every single area of your life.

Once you set a goal, however, you must now forget about the outcome. At this point, its time to focus on the process that will get you there.

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The Most Important Tip: When And How To Seek Professional Help For School Anxiety

First and foremost, its important to understand anxiety can be a serious mental health condition. If your student is suffering from anxiety, they may not be able to overcome it alone, even if they give it their best effort.

If your students performance anxiety in school is harming their academic performance, hindering their social relationship with classmates, or causing them to miss classes to avoid situations that bring on their school anxiety, they may need professional help from a medical provider. Similarly, if your student has panic attacks at school, working with a mental health professional is the best choice.

This is especially true if your students pervasive or concerning anxious thoughts have occurred most days a week for the past six months. However, even if that much time has not passed, speaking with a doctor is never a bad idea.

If your student needs professional help for their anxiety about school, contact your students primary care physician. They may be able to go over treatment options or refer your student to a mental health professional who can help assess and treat their anxiety.

Alternatively, if your health insurance allows it, you may be able to select a covered mental health professional on your own without a referral. Usually, you can find out which area doctors or counselors accept your insurance online as well as contact for information and appointments.

You Must Be Musically Prepared

The most critical factor that will help you deal with performance anxiety is to be fully prepared. You must be confident that you have made every effort to prepare for the performance.

For a musician, this means that you have practiced performing your songs repeatedly until they are all second nature to you.

Learning how to overcome performance anxiety is not going to work if you havent put in the effort to be your best.

Recommended Reading: Do Anxiety And Depression Go Hand In Hand

Understanding The Causes And Symptoms Of Male Performance Anxiety Erectile Dysfunction

The first step to take is understanding just what performance anxiety is and what happens in our body when we experience it. One of the more tricky aspects of diagnosing performance anxiety is that were largely reliant upon self reporting and not everyone wants to talk about it, for obvious reasons.

A feeling of nervousness before and even during sex is the main symptom of male performance anxiety. You cant concentrate on the task at hand or enjoy sexual intercourse because youre too preoccupied with stress and worry.

Naturally, your body has a biological response to stress, namely, blood vessels contort and your adrenal system floods the body with adrenaline and cortisol. Once the body becomes consumed with dealing with a fight or flight response, it becomes immensely difficult to relax and enjoy yourself and your partner.

The worst part for some men is that one bad experience can lead to another. The result is a vicious cycle that can have a severe impact on your personal relationships. If you experience performance anxiety erectile dysfunction once or twice, it is important to understand that there may not need to be an immediate cause for concern.

However, prolonged bouts and/or decreasing interest in sex as a result mean it is time to confront the core cause or causes. As stated above though, the good news here is that this is a more common occurrence than you might realize so there are plenty of potential treatments to pursue.

Anxiety And Performance Anxiety

How to Combat Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety can be a serious problem. It can create other types of anxiety, including social anxiety, and in some cases, it can be a symptom of other anxiety disorders that bleed into your confidence in social situations.

No matter what you will need to address your overall anxiety if you want to also reduce your performance anxiety. Anxiety disorders create negative, nervous thinking, and so even if you “cure” your performance anxiety, you are still likely to have disabling thoughts that may affect your performance in the future.

But performance anxiety itself can have a variety of additional causes. Let’s look at the two main types of performance anxiety and see what may cause it, and then go into detail about what can be done to prevent it.

Recommended Reading: How To Deal With Constant Anxiety

What Are The Causes Of Performance Anxiety In Men

There are a lot of potential reasons why a guy might experience sexual performance anxiety.

Most of them stem from the mistaken belief that you will somehow do somethingor not be able to do somethingthat will end up disappointing your partner.

Sex is not like a TV show or movie that needs to be reviewed and critiqued, but turning it into that is just about the quickest way to make sex anxiety-provoking instead of fun.

Even the most confident guy is bound to be a bit nervous if he thinks his partner is going to be overly critical of his sexual prowess.

Let’s take a quick look at five of the most common reasons guys might experience performance anxiety.

How To Get Over Performance Anxiety

Heather Lyons, Ph.D.

Performance anxiety is the fear of ones ability to perform. People with performance anxiety often worry about failing a task or making a mistake, even before the task has started, believing that failure will lead to rejection or humiliation.

Performance anxiety can vary widely between individuals. While some people feel mild apprehension before speaking in public or before a recital, others may experience panic attacks at the thought of performing. For some people, stage fright can hurt their self-confidence, self-esteem, and enjoyment of performing. Although it may feel impossible to overcome your anxiety, there are many things you can do to feel more comfortable in front of an audience.

Read Also: Are Stress And Anxiety The Same Thing

Also Check: How Does Anxiety Affect The Brain

Sexual Anxiety Is A Common Issue

Performance anxiety is a common problem that can affect anyone. For men, it can be a stressful experience after all, no one wants to let their sexual partner down or miss out on enjoying sex because they feel anxious and uncomfortable.

Luckily, performance anxiety can easily be fixed. From open communication with your partner to guided imagery, relaxation exercises and ED medication, there are a range of treatment options that can help you overcome performance anxiety and enjoy a healthy sex life.

Interested in learning more about the psychological side of sexual performance? Our guides to and go into more detail about two of the most common causes of sexual performance anxiety.

Looking for a way to reduce feelings of anxiety? Our list of five science-backed reasons to start meditating explains how meditation can play a role in helping you overcome stress, anxiety and negative thought patterns.

Stage Fright: How To Overcome It In 7 Easy Steps

Overcome Performance Anxiety
  • Bonus: Skip Your Morning Latte
  • Nothing is worse than when you are about to walk on stage for a performance, audition or presentation and you get stage fright.

    In this video I want to teach you 7 steps to conquer stage fright and keep it at bay forever!

    I love studying the hidden forces that drive us and unfortunately nerves, anxiety and fear are some of the negative forces that can hold us back. These can especially rear their ugly heads right before big moments. Colloquially this is know as stage fright or performance anxiety and it can happen before or during any appearance in front of an audience. Wonder if you have ever had it? Here are the official symptoms of stage fright:

    • 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

    Yeah stage fright is no joke, it even can make your vision blurry or tunneled. So, what do we do? How do we combat these symptoms? To find out, I went to the expert on this topic Don Greene. Don Greene is a leading sports psychologist. He has coached the US Olympic swim team, served in the US armed forces as a Green Beret and trained the San Diego Police Departments SWAT team. If anyone knows how to get stage fright, its him. In fact, a few years ago I stumbled upon his book Fight Your Fear and Win when I was trying to combat my own stage fright. He gave me seven steps that I still use when I give presentations.

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    How Can I Overcome Sexual Performance Anxiety

    Nope. Stop the negative thinking right now.

    Sexual performance anxiety should not rest on your shoulders alone.

    There are steps you can take to reduce these negative feelings. Here are four simple tips that can help you get past the thoughts that are screwing up your sex life, so you can get back in bed with more confidence

    Tip #: You Wont Be Able To Treat Your Performance Anxiety Unless You Admit You Have A Problem

    If performance anxiety is negatively affecting your performances but youre too afraid to admit it, then your problem is likely to stay the same or potentially get much worse as time drags on. None of our tips and actionable advice can help you unless youre willing to admit you actually have a performance anxiety problem. Are you unsure if performance anxiety is having an effect on you? Heres a few common physical symptoms:

    -Rapid heartbeat and increased breathing-Dry mouth-Shaky hands, knees, lips, and voice-Profuse sweating-Blurred vision

    These are just some of the physical complications commonly associated with performance anxiety. Though it varies from person-to-person, the effects performance anxiety can have on a persons mental health can be quite serious. Everything from feelings of impending doom, doubt and intense fear to anger, self-sabotage and resentment can be spurred on by the simple act of a person walking onto a stage. If youve experienced any of these symptoms, then you are most likely a sufferer of performance anxiety.

    You wont begin to learn how to deal with your problem until you can fully accept the situation youre in. A musician being dealt a performance anxiety hand isnt at all fair, but acknowledging it is the first step toward learning how to approach and eventually overcome it.

    Read Also: Does Anxiety Go Away If You Ignore It

    Talk To Someone Friendly

    Another very effective technique is to talk to someone you like and trust, especially on the phone. Dont be shy about your anxiety tell them you feel anxious and explain what youre feeling.

    Talking to nice, empathetic people keeps your mind off of your symptoms, and the supportive nature of friends and family gives you an added boost of confidence. If youre suffering from a panic attack, it also helps you feel more confident that if something were wrong, youd have someone that can watch over you.

    Where Does Performance Anxiety Come From

    How to Overcome Male Performance Anxiety – Esther Perel

    Performance anxiety often starts small and grows. Its generally psychological, where you start to overthink your sexual experiences.

    Did I last long enough?

    Did I make my partner happy?

    What did my partner think about that one thing that I did?

    Was I good?

    The more you ask yourself these questions, the more anxiety youll get. These constant thoughts can affect your ability to have enjoyable sex in the future. Youre too busy thinking about what could go wrong or your partners judgment than focusing on the fun and pleasure of the moment.

    But these thoughts are coming from somewhere so what can spur these anxieties?

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    How To Use Cannabis To Prevent Performance Anxiety

    Work performance anxiety is real, whether it stems from an upcoming presentation or everyday pressure from tasks and expectations. Do you experience work performance anxiety? Are you looking for a way to help alleviate your daily stress? Fortunately for you, cannabis may be able to help. Here’s what you need to know.

    How Common Is Performance Anxiety And Fear Of Public Speaking

    Performance anxiety is rampant in our society. In fact, the fear of public speaking, or glossophobia, affects an estimated 77% of the population. That makes it more common than the fear of heights, fear of flying, or fear of enclosed spaces.

    Feelings of pre-performance dread can strike anyone, including seasoned performers. Look at superstar Miley Cyrus who has been entertaining audiences since she was a child. Cyrus once told People magazine that she still experiences stage fright, saying, Im a little bit of a nervous person even though I try to keep it cool, but Im actually always kind of freaking out at all times.

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    Performance Anxiety Type 1

    Athletes, presenters, and anyone that does anything under the public’s eye may find themselves with performance anxiety. The causes of this are fairly simple:

    • Mild social anxiety.
    • Inexperience in public.
    • Strong distaste for failure.

    Anything in life can cause these emotions. Some people are born with a mild performance anxiety or grew up naturally shy, so the idea of talking in public is upsetting to them. Others are prone to distress over the idea of being judged, possibly because of experiences in the past, upbringing, or bullying.

    As with all anxiety, it is difficult to know the exact cause, but performance anxiety is also self-sustaining because it creates a mindset that focuses only on mistakes and seeing “judgment” in others. One small mistake, even if no one notices, or one person in the audience that looks unhappy and all of your fears are reinforced, causing more performance anxiety to happen in the future.

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