Performance anxiety is a fear of failure in a public situation where others can judge you. It may be speaking at a friend’s wedding (and therefore also sometimes called ‘stage fright‘) or even contacting someone on the phone. It is a shot of adrenaline, the body’s response to avoid the situation. Of course, this isn’t always a negative thing but it can be debilitating depending on the situation.
There are some anecdotal remedies to address stage fright. Who hasn’t heard of the old chestnut of imagining the audience naked? When I used to be part of the conference circuit, I never once heard someone telling me that this is what they did.
The usual way I’ve seen people addressing anxiety in these meetings was to prepare. There is no such thing as over-prepare, as long as that isn’t causing you stress in itself, of course! What to prepare? Think of content, your technique, and anticipate the audience.
Hypnosis in therapeutic settings can relieve the pathways of anxiety in the brain and reduce the need for medication for everything from dental treatment to flying. It can reinforce CBT strategies to help patients control and regulate their body’s response to stress, anxiety, and other mental health problems. Indeed, it can be used to help stage-fright subjects overcome mental obstacles that could hamper their success.
Performance anxiety can also be experienced in more intimate scenarios, like in the bedroom. Erectile dysfunction is one of those situations that affect millions of men, and I’m certain equivalent issues affect also women even if they don’t have the same physical manifestation.
The recommendation on preparation obviously still applies. Your partner would certainly appreciate that. But in a therapy context, hypnosis enables the client identify the origins of anxiety symptoms. Once that is done, they will also be able to reframe the situations where those feelings occur. In other words, hypnosis can speed up the process of retraining the mind to improve sexual performance, by combine performance with positive emotions .
Hypnosis can also put you in a state of relaxation, and some hypnotherapists teach their clients how to hypnotise themselves – under stressful conditions. I also recommend self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques to help you continue your work and manage your anxiety in the long term.
By training your subconscious mind to achieve a state of relaxation, you can reduce and eliminate panic states. If you’re interested, I suggest you to see a certified hypnotherapist (like me!) who will interview you about your anxiety and offer you a tailor-made treatment plan.
There is much evidence of the use of hypnotherapy for anxiety and performance anxiety.
In 1999, a study of 20 participants used self-hypnosis and relaxation over a period of one month to manage their anxiety. The experimental treatment resulted in a reduction in anxiety in the public speaker group compared to the control group. In a randomised, controlled trial, the effectiveness of CBT in the public – speech anxiety was compared with the same therapy combined with hypnosis for waiting lists and control groups. See link for research.
Do you want to know more? Send me your questions and let’s chat.