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How To Dismantle Performance Anxiety With Ease

Performance anxiety is an arising issue in the world. Because of technology, a variety of factors contribute to this issue. This is how to relieve anxiety.

Anxiety has become a widespread concern in the United States. A staggering 40 million adults, or 19.1% of the population, grapple with an anxiety disorder according to the National Institute of Mental Health. But managing anxiety can be a complex challenge. Unlike a broken bone that heals with time, anxiety is a chronic condition that requires ongoing effort.

Also, the triggers for anxiety can be diverse. Public speaking, social situations, financial worries, and even everyday tasks like even driving may spark anxious thoughts and physical symptoms.

Socially, anxiety can be isolating. Fears of judgment or negative experiences can lead people to avoid social interaction, hindering connections and relationships. This isolation can further fuel anxiety, creating a vicious cycle. The good news is, with proper treatment and self-care strategies, anxiety can be effectively managed.

First, Be Mindful

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Feeling overwhelmed during stressful situations? Mindfulness, the practice of focusing your awareness on the present moment without judgment, can be a powerful tool for managing anxiety and maintaining composure.

In the throes of anxiety, our minds often spiral with worst-case scenarios and negative self-talk. So, mindfulness helps us break free from this mental rut by anchoring us in the present.

So, how does mindfulness work? One key element is focusing on your breath. Our breath is a constant companion, always there to connect us to the present moment. By incorporating specific breathing techniques into your mindfulness practice, you can effectively calm your nervous system and reduce anxiety symptoms.

Try this simple breathing exercise…

  • Find a comfortable position in your home or apartment and close your eyes gently.
  • Focus on your breath, feeling the cool air enter your nostrils as you inhale for a count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven, allowing your belly to gently rise.
  • Then, slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of eight, feeling your belly sink back down.
  • Repeat this cycle for several minutes, focusing solely on the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your body.

Studies have shown that deep breathing exercises like this activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the body’s rest-and-digest response. In turn, this counteracts the fight-or-flight response triggered by anxiety, promoting feelings of calmness and relaxation.

Then, Counter Those Negative Thoughts

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Feeling overwhelmed by self-doubt and negative thoughts can cripple your performance in any situation, from public speaking to a big game. Nevertheless, learning to challenge these negative thought patterns can make everyday tasks a million times easier.

Performance anxiety often stems from distorted thinking. You might catastrophize a situation, blowing a minor mistake out of proportion and envisioning the worst possible outcome. Challenging these negative thoughts forces you to examine them rationally and identify their flaws.

But, how do we do this? Well, one effective technique is to question the validity of your negative thoughts.

  • For example, if you’re giving a presentation and think “I’m going to blank out and forget everything,” ask yourself “Is it realistic to expect to remember every single detail perfectly?
  • What can I do to prepare myself in case I do forget something?”
  • Shifting your focus to solutions instead of dwelling on worst-case scenarios most definitely reduces anxiety.

Another approach involves looking for evidence to disprove your negative thoughts.

  • If you have a history of delivering successful presentations, remind yourself of that past success.
  • Tell yourself “I’ve done this before, and I can do it again.”
  • Finding concrete evidence to counter your negativity can boost your confidence and self-belief.

Finally, try reframing the situation in a more positive light.

  • Instead of viewing your anxiety as a debilitating weakness, consider it a sign that you care and want to perform well.
  • Tell yourself “My anxiety just means I’m passionate about this.”
  • Consequently, you will be able to channel your nervous energy into a positive force for motivation and focus.

By actively challenging your negative thoughts, you will gain control over your anxiety and perform at your best. In short, a little mental reprogramming goes a long way!

What Are Exactly Are “Calm Mantras?”

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Feeling overwhelmed by anxiety? Calm mantras are one of the best techniques to strengthen your mindset. These potent phrases are more than just positive affirmations; they’re tools for managing anxiety and maintaining composure in tricky situations.

They are short, positive statements you silently repeat to yourself during moments of anxiety. I like to think of them as mental anchors – phrases that ground you in the present and quiet the “storm of anxious thoughts swirling in your mind.”

Now, the beauty of calm mantras lies in the simplicity. There’s no right or wrong mantra; the key is finding one that resonates with you.

i. Focus On Self-Assurance

Mantras like “I am calm” or “I can handle this” instill confidence and a sense of control during stressful situations. Repeating these phrases reminds you of your inner strength and ability to navigate challenges.

ii. Be Grateful

Anxiety often stems from dwelling on what could go wrong. Shift your focus by incorporating gratitude into your mantra. “I am grateful for this experience” or “I am thankful for my breath” can redirect your attention to the positive aspects of the present moment.

iii. Accept The Process

When faced with a difficult task, a mantra like “One step at a time” or “I will get through this” can be grounding. These mantras remind you that progress, not perfection, is the goal.

As always, consistency is key. Practice reciting your chosen mantra during calm moments, and it will become a natural tool you can reach for when anxiety tries to take hold.

Questions, Comments, Concerns?

What do we think?

With technology getting out of hand, more and more people are becoming reliant on their iPhones and less so on human interaction.

Let me know if you have questions, and if you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety, please reach out below.