Performance Anxiety, or more commonly known as Stage Fright, is the phobia and fear which stops an individual believing that they are able to tackle the task at hand. Performance anxiety, does not just include performing in front of a large audience, it can include both public and private situations both large and small, such as a meeting, an exam, or intimate moments. Anxiety in itself begins with the fear that you can’t perform a task or presentation, because you honestly believe that it will or could go wrong. This is where the anxiety can escalate from. In some cases, people’s phobias turn the sometimes enjoyable task into a chore. The fear of failure or inability to even begin this chore creates a surge of adrenaline in your body which you struggle to control; unlike the type of adrenaline we can enjoy. Learning to channel this adrenaline properly is what we have been studying in this complex module of Performance Anxiety.
There are many different techniques which have been tested to cure Performance Anxiety. The Alexander technique is the most popular and well known cure for Performance Anxiety. Throughout this module, I have studied this technique in depth, alongside my personal study choice. "The Alexander technique is a way of learning how you can get rid of harmful tension in your body." , according to the Alexander Techniques online forum and website. The Alexander Technique, does not look at giving you a specific treatment which will cure you instantly, it looks at adapting the way you think about performances, by releasing trapped energy in the body. The flow of energy in the body is widely spoken about in a lot of anxiety therapies. It is believed the flow of energy in your body directly controls your mannerisms during a performance, meeting, interview etc. The founder of the Alexander Technique’s objective was to “make experimentation and training deliberately repeatable, and to learn in a way that would allow indefinite improvement” . Showing that with repeatable training, these mannerisms should allow your body’s natural energy to flow freely, increasing the standard of performance, as well as abolishing the Stage Fright symptoms which commonly appear. This should be possible after taking part in the different exercises suggested in the technique, more than once.
Throughout this Module, we have looked at multiple exercises which we could use to try and overcome our anxiety, including practical lessons, in which members of our group took part. The Voice tempo exercise was an extremely helpful technique which helped to improve multiple people when used in class, and outside for my personal need. The Voice tempo technique has a series of stages. The first stage of the exercise is to find a problem phrase, such as “I can’t do this” or “I sound awful”. The second stage would be to give this phrase a number from one to ten, on how nervous it makes you feel. Stage three is writing this problem phrase down. After this, stage four is noticing how you think this phrase would be said in your head. So internally, you think how you would say this phrase. Following this, inside your head you would make this phrase sound untrue by, questioning it, saying it backwards, and saying it in a ridiculous voice. Doing this, makes you think about the phrase not as problem phrase, but as a silly sentence. Following this, the final stage would be to repeat the phrase, normally to yourself, and see if the anxiety level has decreased when saying it. This technique is very experimental and a fun way of actually overcoming your stage fright, by simply manipulating the situation at hand.
In Performance Anxiety, we have looked at more practical solutions to overcoming Performance Anxiety. However, the practical solutions can’t produce a long term solution to Performance Anxiety. Thus I decided to look into more detail of a treatment that would give long term relief from Performance Anxiety. Let us now look at a treatment for...
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