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How To Fix Performance Anxiety

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How to overcome performance anxiety

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Performance Anxiety What Is Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety is a type of anxiety which you experience when you need to perform. Performance anxiety can occur in different areas in life. For example: you might experience it at work, school, or even at home. Some people, for example, have the feeling that they are responsible for certain things within their family life. But generally people experience performance anxiety when they have to perform well at school or at work.

An Unexpected Way To Deal With Performance Anxiety

Activities such as exams or public speaking can turn the toughest into a sweaty, shaky human shaped jelly in a skin suit. The obvious response to performance anxiety is to try to relax, but it might not be the most effective, according to new research.

The problem with naming that racey heart, butterflies-in-the-belly, anxious feeling as feeling anxious, is that it tends to trigger thoughts of all the things that could go badly. Getting excited on the other hand brings on a more positive emotional state.

Research conducted at Harvard University showed that relabelling anxiety as excitement improved performance during anxiety-inducing activities.

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Overcoming Performance Anxiety: Tricks Of The Trade

There are also mental tricks you can play to help you perform with less anxiety. These include:

  • Focus on the friendliest faces in the audience.
  • Laugh when you can, it can help you relax.
  • Make yourself look good. When you look good, you feel good.

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. In addition, beta-blockers such as propranolol that lower the heart rate and block the effects of adrenaline are sometimes used by people with performance anxiety.

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.

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Performance Anxiety Is A Common Issue

How to Overcome Performance Anxiety

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 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.

Were here to help you mate, mate

Also Check: How To Know I Have Anxiety

Communicate Your Anxieties To A Partner

Communicating with a partner about your anxieties can take some of the pressure off and allow you to ask for support. It can be helpful to have a more in-depth discussion outside of a sexual situation and really delve into what the anxieties are, where they stem from, and potential solutions. For example, if you experience pain during penetration, you might say, âpenetration is painful for me, but I really like doing X, Y, and Z things.â

During a sexual encounter, itâs important to continuously check in with yourself and a partner. You might say something like, âDuring sex, I feel anxious about . And often, it makes it ever harder for me to . It would help me if you could . How does that sound to you?â

It can be difficult to communicate the specifics of your anxiety if you donât know your partner well or if youâre having a one night stand. In these cases, try communicating broader topics first, like your boundaries or what you do and donât like during sex. If you donât feel comfortable bringing up a specific issue, like vaginal dryness, consider bringing lube with you or saying something along the lines of, âI think using lube is hot.â While not every anxiety can be resolved with communication and you might find it difficult to speak openly with a partner, learning to express your wants and needs is an important first step.

Tips To Manage Anxiety And Stress

Coping Strategies

Try these when you’re feeling anxious or stressed:

Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress

For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity , or a combination of the two.

  • 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
  • Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
  • Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
  • Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find its more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
  • Recruit an exercise buddy. It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
  • Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.

Resources

If you are the parent of a college-aged child with an anxiety disorder, here are some tips to help with managing his or her anxiety.

Also Check: What Is The Best Magnesium For Anxiety And Depression

Why Does Performance Anxiety Make It Difficult To Get An Erection

When we get stressed or anxious our bodies react by releasing hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. This physical response is designed to help us in times of danger, but it isnt very helpful on other occasions, like worrying about having sex.

These hormones constrict the bodys blood vessels. You get an erection from blood flowing to the penis, so if this blood flow is constricted it can make it difficult to get and keep an erection.

Premature Ejaculation Playing On Your Mind Dont Panic

How to Overcome Performance Anxiety | Top Tips

Around 1 in 10 men in the UK have an issue related to having sex, such as erectile dysfunction or PE. For many men, this pressure can quickly have a psychological effect and lead to performance anxiety. Over time, this stress and anxiety can lead to difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection. While this can leave you feeling self-conscious, it is worth noting that most men will experience an erection problem at least once during their lifetime.

So what is PE and what defines it as an issue? Occasional episodes of PE, uncontrolled ejaculating either before or shortly after sexual penetration are common, are nothing to worry about. These can often be explained by circumstance for example, if you have a new partner or havent had sex for a while.

However, if you keep worrying that you cant last as long as you should in the bedroom as most men have done at some stage. Start by asking yourself whether you are simply comparing yourself to unrealistic expectations. Any time after 60 seconds is considered normal for ejaculation, and a study of 500 men found that the average time they lasted was 5 and a half minutes perhaps shorter than you might expect.

If both partners are happy, theres no set time for how long sex should last. If you find you are ejaculating prematurely at least half of the time, our PE clinic is here to help.

Recommended Reading: Can Anxiety Cause Headaches And Eye Pain

Premature Ejaculation And Sexual Performance Anxiety

Like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation is a very common sexual issue.

Approximately one-third of men under the age of 60 have at least occasional issues with PE. Doctors define early ejaculation as regularly reaching orgasm within one minute after penetration during vaginal sex.

Whether you have chronic symptoms or symptoms that only occur from time to time, PE has the potential to increase the odds of sexual performance anxiety.

As mentioned above, sexual performance anxiety can potentially lead to PE, which can further increase anxiety. It can therefore become a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, there are numerous solutions to help you overcome this issue.

Dont Think Of Orgasm As A Goal

When you put pressure on yourself to orgasm, it can make it even more difficult to finish. While it can be hard to take the focus off orgasming â especially when youâve learned that sex must end in orgasm or that itâs a sign of how good you are in bed â removing orgasm as the end goal will help you find pleasure in other ways. Instead, focus your attention on finding pleasure in other ways and what connects you to a partner during sex.

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Causes And Symptoms Of Performance Anxiety

Stage fright and sexual anxiety both stem from similar causes they are both brought about from a “fear of selfthe idea of confronting one’s vulnerability, and accepting one’s flaws and limitations.

A person may suffer performance anxiety if they have low self-esteem, or inexperience in performing in front of others. While some people may only experience brief and tentative bouts of anxiety, others will experience chronic and recurring anxiety. Major anxiety can prevent a person from living a normal life. Anxiety can rob a person of their joy, potentially causing physical, mental, and emotional distress as a result.

Causes of sexual performance anxiety may include poor body image , problems in the relationship, and physical problems with erectile dysfunction, which can also be caused by certain heart conditions. Eventually, those who experience sexual performance anxiety can lose sexual stamina, or even become impotent, if they don’t explore treatment.

The main problem is that the more anxious you become, the more likely your body’s “fight-or-flight” mechanism will react. This is the same extreme reaction that occurs when a person is attacked. In addition to negative feelings, physical symptoms may include a racing pulse and rapid breathing, a tight throat and difficulty breathing, trembling hands or legs, cold or sweaty hands, vision problems, nausea, and diarrhea, among other issues.

Strategies To Reduce Sexual Performance Anxiety

How to Overcome Performance Anxiety

Sexual performance anxiety tends to be a bit more complex because thinking about your sexual performance too much takes away from its enjoyment. Also, the body gets used to specific reactions. Men with premature ejaculation, for example, will not necessarily overcome the dysfunction immediately even if they overcome their performance anxiety because the body is trained to finish faster. It is a process, just as overcoming performance anxiety, in general, is a process.

Sex therapists can be a big help. But no matter what, consider the following:

These are just a few of the important steps for reducing performance anxiety.

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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.

How Can I Manage Performance Anxiety And Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction

difficulty getting or keeping an erection firm enough for intercourse is a common problem. Its often linked to physical health issues, like diabetes, low testosterone, and heart disease.

But sometimes, ED has emotional or psychological causes. In this case, it is called psychogenic ED. It may happen when a man is feeling depressed or anxious, having problems with his relationship, or dealing with stress. Men who feel conflicted about sex because of religious or cultural beliefs may also experience psychogenic ED.

For many men, the situation leads to performance anxiety. A man may become so anxious about getting an erection and pleasing his partner that when hes in a sexual encounter, he has erection difficulties.

Fortunately, performance anxiety and psychogenic ED can be managed.

Start by seeing your doctor. Sometimes, ED has both psychological and physical causes, so its a good idea to have a full medical exam first. If physical issues are found, those can be addressed.

Here are some other ideas to consider:

Learn more:

  • American Family Physician – Erectile DysfunctionRew, Karl T. MD and Joel J. Heidelbaugh, MD
  • MedicalNewsToday.com – Overcoming sexual performance anxietyJohnson, Jon
  • Urology Care Foundation – What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Read Also: How Are Anxiety And Depression Related

The Negative Erection Cycle

Once men experience a couple of erection failures, they begin to lose confidence in themselves, which leads to performance anxiety. What men dont realize is that it is quite common, especially as they age, that erections are likely to come and go and not always be there exactly when you want them too.

Men put a tremendous amount of pressure on their bodies to always perform perfectly. Long before intercourse even begins, at the first thought that it might be time to have sex, men become anxious and worried that they will not be able to get hard or stay hard. This anxiety constricts the blood vessels and keeps men in their minds and disconnected from their bodies, making it much more likely for ED to continue.

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