Take a look at this video of Gero and Marta dancing a sensual bachata routine in front of a room full of people (many of which are filming them from a close angle). Does the idea of you getting up there and doing the same thing yourself fill you with dread? Then you might be one of those people who deal with performance anxiety. It can give you negative thoughts, make you scared of failing, make you irritable, and even physically ill. But there are ways to overcome it. Let’s take a look at a few.

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Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

The more you rehearse your routine the more it will become muscle memory. This will help to reduce your fear of forgetting because it won’t require any conscious thought at all.

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Limit your caffeine intake

Caffeine in general is considered safe, however drinking too much is definitely not recommended. In fact drinking any amount of caffeine drink can make your heart beat faster and leave you dehydrated. This can increase some symptoms of performance anxiety, including dry mouth and a racing heart. Caffeine can be found in Coffee, Black &Green tea, Matcha tea and other drinks that come from the Camellia Sinensis plant aka tea plant. Caffeine-free teas are usually herbal teas such as Rooibos, Camomile, Ginger and Peppermint.

Make sure you get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation can increase anxiety and negatively affect your mood, which can make your symptoms of performance anxiety much worse. In fact getting enough sleep regularly can help you solve many psychological and physical problems. Healthy sleep is very important and should not be underestimated.

Mindfulness and controlled breathing

Mindfulness and controlled breathing can help to reduce your anxiety and make you feel more centered in the moment, which can help to reduce your feelings of anxiety surrounding your performance. It can be hard to achieve right before the show or competition, but sitting in a quite room for about 15 minutes and focusing on your breath is quite beneficial and highly recommended.

Practice positive thinking

Much of what drives performance anxiety is negative thinking. You can consciously counteract these thoughts by replacing them with positive ones, including self-affirmations. Plaster them on your mirror or use them as your phone lock screen so that you can’t help but see them every day.

Develop a stage persona

Some very famous performers have famously suffered from performance anxiety, and one of the ways that many of them manage to get it under control is to create a whole new persona for themselves that goes out on stage instead of the “real them”. And it is one of those psychological tricks that really does work (even though you might feel a bit silly at first!).

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