How To Break The Cycle Of Performance Anxiety?

How To Break The Cycle Of Performance Anxiety?

How To Break The Cycle Of Performance Anxiety?

Performance anxiety is the intense worry you feel when you have to meet expectations, whether they are your own or those of other people.

You might feel anxious every once in a while. You might feel a lot of stress when you have to give a presentation, take a test, compete in sports, or sing in front of a crowd. You could even feel upset when you were touching each other.

But what happens if this worry keeps coming up over and over again? You might be worried about doing well. If performance anxiety is bad enough, it could be called a mental health disorder. For example, you could be diagnosed with a social anxiety disorder if you feel this way in most or all social situations.

But just like with other kinds of anxiety, you can learn how to deal with performance anxiety and break the cycle.

Six things to do to stop the cycle of performance anxiety

Performance anxiety is widespread. Even just in the world of music, up to 60% of professional musicians may have symptoms. So, you’re not alone if you often feel anxious when you have to do something that depends on how well you do.

You can control your anxiety symptoms and get help if you think you need it. In the meantime, here are some ways to get over stage fright:

Relaxation techniques

When you have performance anxiety, it can help to have a way to calm yourself that you can turn to at any time. Circular breathing is something that a well-known psychologist recommends as an easy way to deal with performance anxiety.

“With your eyes closed and your lips pursed (like you’re trying to blow out a candle), slowly exhale for as long as you can,” he says. “When your lungs are empty, count to ten and then slowly take in as much air as you can through your nose. When your lungs are full, take a break and then do it again.”

Some people also say that when you start to feel anxious, you should do progressive muscle relaxation.

“Sit comfortably and slowly tighten and loosen the muscles in each foot three times. “Do this with each of your major muscle groups, working your way up your body until you reach your face and head,” he says.

Progressive muscle relaxation helps you get your feet on the ground to focus on your body instead of the thoughts that make you feel anxious.

If you have performance anxiety and find that your symptoms keep returning, practicing relaxation techniques daily can help you break the cycle.

Imaginary trips

Guided imagery is a kind of therapy that uses a script to help you think of and picture good things to help you relax. Some clinical psychologists and experts in s*x therapy say that guided imagery can even help people who are nervous about performing s*xually.

“Guided imagery is a type of therapy in which you imagine peaceful, positive, or successful scenes in your mind,” he says. “By focusing on these…positive images, the brain is able to create a state of calm and relaxation that is good for s*xual health.”

Therapists say that guided imagery is often done in a professional setting but that you can also write and record your scripts or buy online sessions that have already been recorded.

Guided imagery to improve s*xual performance doesn’t always mean thinking good thoughts about s*xuality.

Guided imagery doesn’t have to be s*xual; it can be about nature, for example. However, the relaxation it creates takes your mind off of the task that makes you anxious and lets your body get naturally aroused.

In the same way, if you know something will make you anxious, practicing guided imagery before it can help you deal with the symptoms.

Positive self-talk

A clinical psychologist in New York warns that thinking about bad things can worsen anxiety.

“Negative thoughts about yourself make performance anxiety worse,” says Greene. “Your anxiety will get worse if you tend to tell yourself how badly you’ll do or how bad it would be if you don’t do well.”

He says you should remind yourself why you’re likely to do well and why making a mistake won’t end the world. If talking to yourself isn’t enough, you can write down what you say to yourself. Think about reading them when you feel like your mind is against you.

Getting over fears

It makes sense to want to stay away from things that make you feel bad. Even though it might feel good at the time, our therapist warns that you shouldn’t do it.

“Avoiding something that makes you anxious makes sense. But doing it over and over can make the problem worse,” he says. “Try to put yourself in situations that scare you a little bit. Often, the more you do this, the less anxiety you’ll have.”

You don’t have to go large-scale. Starting small, like practicing a speech with a group of friends before an important presentation, can help you get the exposure you need to deal with your anxiety.

Changes in daily life

When you’re upset, food can make you feel a little better. But any sound effects might not last long. A well-known health psychologist specializing in stress and insomnia says to pay attention to foods that help stabilize blood sugar levels.

“It also helps to cut back on caffeine and sugar. She says, “Too much caffeine or changes in blood sugar can make anxiety symptoms look like they are real, which makes the real anxiety worse. “Eating a well-balanced meal can help keep your blood sugar steady, which can help you do better.”

Try to eat more whole, non-starchy, unprocessed fruits and vegetables, such as:

  • green beans
  • broccoli
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • cucumbers


Sometimes, things you enjoy doing can make you nervous about doing well. For example, you’re really into basketball, so you’ve decided to play with a team in front of people. But right before you go out on the court, you have a moment of worry.

It’s normal to feel this way. The excitement you feel when doing something you enjoy can help you overcome performance anxiety.

“Anxiety and excitement can go head to head,” says our clinical psychologist. “Finding something that makes you excited about the task and feeding that feeling can help you feel less anxious, even if it’s just enough to get the job done.”

If you find it hard to get excited and motivated, you can start by writing down what you like about the activity or what it means to you on a deeper level.

Even if you are giving a s*xual performance, reminding yourself that there are other important parts of intimacy, like expressing your love and bonding feelings, may help you put less emphasis on your physical skills.

When to seek help

If your performance anxiety is causing problems in essential parts of your life, you might want to get help from a professional.

Tholen says that research has shown that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) works. “CBT works because it is the most effective way to challenge the dysfunctional thoughts that cause performance anxiety. The most effective form of CBT is the focused positivity strategy.”

Focused positivity is a type of therapy that is based on finding solutions. It encourages you to focus on thriving and reaching your goals instead of focusing on your weaknesses and the problems they cause.

Let’s recap

At least once in their lives, everyone has performance anxiety. When you have to do something in a certain way, it’s normal to feel nervous. But sometimes, the symptoms start happening more often, turning these one-time events into a cycle of performance anxiety.

Managing performance anxiety is possible, whether it’s a form of situational anxiety or a sign of a generalized anxiety disorder. You can lessen the effects of performance anxiety by facing your fears, practicing relaxation techniques often, positively talking to yourself, and getting help from a professional.