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  • Dr Tanishq

Performance Anxiety: The Silent Saboteur of Success

I feel "Performance anxiety is like a curtain of self-doubt that threatens to steal the show, but with practice and persistence, we can learn to draw it back and reveal the star within us."


It is a type of anxiety that is experienced before or during a performance, presentation, or public speaking event. It is the fear or apprehension that one experiences when faced with the prospect of performing in front of others, whether it be in a work-related context or a personal one. Performance anxiety can affect anyone, regardless of their skill level, and it can manifest in several physical and psychological symptoms, such as sweating, trembling, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, nausea, and brain fog. It can also affect confidence and performance, increase stress levels, reduce confidence levels, and impact mental health.


It's worth noting that the causes of performance anxiety can be complex and multifactorial and may not be limited to the ones listed below.


It's important to note that the symptoms of performance anxiety can vary from person to person and may not be limited to the factors listed below. Additionally, these symptoms can also be indicative of other conditions or disorders, so it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional if you're experiencing persistent or severe symptoms.

·Sweating - Excessive sweating is a common physical symptom of performance anxiety. It is often the result of the body's "fight or flight" response.

·Tremors- Tremors(shivering) in the hands, legs, or trembling voice[Mp3] can be a sign of performance anxiety. These tremors can be involuntary and can be exacerbated by stress or nervousness.

·Rapid heartbeat - An increased heart rate is another common physical symptom of performance anxiety. This can be a result of the body's "fight or flight" response due to the activation of the sympathetic system.

·Difficulty breathing - Performance anxiety can lead to shortness of breath, rapid breathing, or hyperventilation.

·Nausea - Nausea or a queasy feeling in the stomach is another common symptom of performance anxiety.

·Brain fog - Brain fog or confusion can be a sign of performance anxiety. This can make it difficult to concentrate, remember information, or make decisions. It can also lead to a feeling of disconnection or detachment from the situation.


· Affects Performance - Performance anxiety can hurt one's ability to perform. It can cause individuals to forget their lines or key points, make mistakes, or freeze up altogether. This can be particularly disadvantageous in situations where one's performance is being evaluated or judged, such as in a job interview, presentation, or audition.

· Increases Stress Levels - Performance anxiety can cause a significant increase in stress levels. This can lead to feelings of fatigue, irritability, and burnout, and can also have long-term consequences for physical health, such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

·Reduces Confidence - Performance anxiety can lower one's confidence and self-esteem. Repeated experiences of anxiety and poor performance can lead individuals to doubt their abilities and feel defeated. This can create a self-perpetuating cycle of anxiety and negative self-talk.

·Impacts on Mental Health - Performance anxiety can hurt mental health. It can[Mp6] lead to depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental health issues. This can be particularly challenging for individuals who experience chronic or severe performance anxiety, as it can significantly impact their quality of life and overall well-being.


It's important to note that coping strategies for performance anxiety can be complex and multifactorial and may not be limited to the factors listed below. Additionally, the effectiveness of these coping strategies can vary from person to person, so it may take some time to find what works best for you through trial and error

PREPARATION- Adequate preparation can help to alleviate performance anxiety. This includes practicing, rehearsing, and familiarizing oneself with the material or task at hand. The more prepared one feels the less anxious they are likely to be.

MINDFULNESS-Mindfulness techniques can help individuals manage their anxiety by bringing their attention to the present moment and focusing on their breathing. The point of mindfulness techniques such as meditation or breathing exercises is to calm oneself and divert the mind from a negative anxious thought to a positive, calm thought. POSITIVE SELF-TALK -Positive self-talk involves replacing negative self-talk with positive, affirming statements. This can help to counteract feelings of anxiety and build confidence. Examples of positive self-talk include "I am prepared and capable of succeeding," "I am confident in my abilities," and "I have performed well in the past, and I can do it again."

VISUALIZATION-Visualization involves creating a mental image of oneself completing a task or performance. This can help build confidence and reduce feelings of anxiety. It can be particularly helpful to visualize oneself overcoming any obstacles or challenges that may arise.

BREATHING TECHNIQUES - Breathing techniques, such as deep breathing or diaphragmatic breathing, can help to reduce feelings of anxiety by slowing down the heart rate and relaxing the body. These techniques can be particularly helpful in the moment when one is feeling anxious or stressed.

SEEK SUPPORT - Seeking support from friends, family, or a mental health professional can be helpful for individuals experiencing performance anxiety. Talking through one's fears and concerns with someone else can help to reduce feelings of isolation and build confidence. Additionally, a mental health professional can provide additional coping strategies and support to manage performance anxiety

REGULAR EXERCISE - Regular exercise can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels, and can also promote overall physical and mental health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise 3-4 days a week.

HEALTHY LIFESTYLE HABITS -Maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and avoiding tobacco, recreational drugs, and alcohol can also help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. These habits can help to promote overall physical and mental health and can also help individuals feel more energized and focused.



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