Natural Cure for Stage Fright
Stages of Stage Fright
- Stage 1: Known as the butterflies in your stomach stage, this is just the beginning of stage fright. Such low levels of anxiety prepare your body for action and many performers actually welcome such feelings of restlessness and nervousness.
- Stage 2: During this stage, there is a physical manifestation of the feelings of fear. The person may find himself sweating profusely, feeling nauseas, experiencing a rapid heartbeat and literally getting weak in the knees. It is possible that these symptoms may affect a person’s performance and if not curbed in time could lead to more intense feelings of fear.
- Stage 3: What follows is a full-blown anxiety attack. Stage 3 usually involves vomiting, fainting, and a lack of focus and feelings of extreme panic.
- Stage 4: The final phase of stage fright is that of complete terror. In such a situation the person is unable to move or speak. If a person reaches this stage, medical or psychological intervention is recommended.
Do your palms sweat, your knees weaken and your arms feel like lead when you stand in front of an audience? Stage fright is something that many people experience, even the most hardened actors from time to time. While stage fright can be a challenge to overcome, the good news is that it is perfectly possible to overcome it. Whether you rely on some of the techniques suggested here, or you go on to develop your own coping mechanisms, you can take control and be your best on stage.
Be aware that stage fright is common for all people. Understand that most of the people in the audience would be scared to death to give a speech too, and are glad that it is you and not them! For the occasional speaker, it is okay to say, “Excuse my nerves, I am not used to this.” When people hear that, they root for the guy, not cut him apart (unless they paid big bucks to be there, in which case, you do need to be skilled.)AdPart 2 of 5: Preparation is ninety nine percent confidence
Always be prepared before going onto the stage. Be overwhelmingly, thoroughly, and completely prepared before taking the stage. If you don’t know your lines, your speech, your call to action, then you’ll stumble mentally and from there, the sweats and weak knees will soon take over. Much of your fear stems from the anxiety that you will make mistakes, or that the audience will know more than you (including knowing that you don’t know). There is one sure way to overcome that, and that is by knowing your material inside and out.
Be prepared to wing it. Okay, you’ve just being told to know your material thoroughly. Sometimes this just isn’t possible, and in such a case, it is very important to focus on the message that needs to get across. For example, it might be an emergency situation and you need to clearly tell people to exit or stay calm. Or, someone might have fallen sick and you need to tell the audience that the speaker isn’t available but that you’re happy to talk on a topic you do know about, for a much shorter time, or some such compromise. When winging it, remember:
- The audience doesn’t know that you don’t know things to talk about. By acting confident, you reassure them that you do know.
- Your tone and your stance are very meaningful. If you have great posture and a clear, calm and resonant voice, along with confident body language, much of what you say will seem convincing, even if it isn’t. In fact, this is important whether or not you do know your material!
- If the message is important, this can give you a boost of confidence that you may not otherwise have had. If it’s to save people’s lives, to spread awareness of something you’re passionate about or to clarify an important point, you may be able to wing it without stage fright even becoming an issue.
Be calm. If you are not calm you’ll face more difficulties than usual. To cool yourself down, some of the following suggestions may come in handy.
Meditate. Meditation is all about cooling down. Our stress and tiredness make us unhappy, impatient and frustrated. It can even affect our health. Meditation makes your mind calmer and more focused and is a good remedy for stage fright.
Think positively. There’s no reason to worry about making mistakes. The more you think about messing up, the more likely you are to do it. In order to think positively, you have to change your emotional and mental approach toward yourself, other people and situations.
Breathe evenly and from your diaphragm. Fear is a bodily reflex and one that you can overcome. When you get afraid, you start to breathe in short, fast breaths. Before you speak, or while you are being introduced, aim to sit quietly and breathe with slow, deep breaths. Continue this as you make your way to the stage and while on stage.
Listen to music. Listening to music that will pump you up can help get you energized, confident, and in the zone. Conversely, listening to soothing music might be best to calm your nerves down.
Exercise. Get some exercise beforehand so that you can expend some of that nervous energy in a constructive way. Do some backstage push-ups or jumping jacks.
Do something silly. You’re going to have to leave your inhibitions behind, so you can’t worry about looking dumb. The best way to combat this insecurity is to do something that makes you feel silly or embarrassed backstage like making funny faces or dancing around. This can help you get over the feeling and realize that even making a fool of yourself isn’t that bad.
Have a group pow-wow. If you’re in a band or performing with a group of people, get together right before the show starts to help everyone get focused and on the same page.
Make eye contact. If it’s appropriate to your performance, you should make a point to make eye contact with the audience. For musicians and public speakers, eye contact is essential. For athletes and dancers, not so much. Eye contact may seem distracting at first, but the more you do it, the more you’ll get used to it.
- If you’re in a dark club, try looking at the wall on the far end of the room. This way, you’re looking up at the crowd, but you won’t get distracted since you can’t see any audience member’s face from that distance. This only really works if there are people standing in the back, of course.
Focus on the materials or on others. Shifting your focus from your feelings to others or the materials/job at hand, can help you to overcome stage fright.
- If you are part of a play, try to focus on the other actors with whom you are speaking; or imagine you are talking to someone you are comfortable talking to if you are alone on stage.
- If you are giving a speech, focus more on the speech, than on the audience’s response. If they are encouraging or applauding you, you can be bolstered by this but don’t get sidetracked or feel needy for applause. You came to do a job, so keep your focus on that aspect.
Relax even more. You may tense up again when you first get out there. Acknowledge it and let yourself relax again. Loosen up and move around a little. The crowd wants to see you succeed as much as you do, and they want to see that you’re enjoying yourself.
Be conscious of your body language. Avoid nervous body language such as fidgeting and sticking your hands in your pockets. Being more animated will help you loosen up.
Realize it’s no biggie. Never forget that when it comes down to it, it’s no big deal! You’re there to have fun, and you will do your best. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be your finest moment, it’s not the end of the world.
Try these 10 tips to reduce your stage fright:
- Shift the focus from yourself and your fear to your true purpose—contributing something of value to your audience.
- Stop scaring yourself with thoughts about what might go wrong. Instead, focus your attention on thoughts and images that are calming and reassuring.
- Refuse to think thoughts that create self-doubt and low confidence.
- Practice ways to calm and relax your mind and body, such as deep breathing, relaxation exercises, yoga, and meditation.
- Exercise, eat well, and practice other healthful lifestyle habits. Try to limit caffeine, sugar, and alcohol as much as possible.
- Visualize your success: Always focus on your strength and ability to handle challenging situations.
- Prepare your material in advance and read it aloud to hear your voice.
- Make connections with your audience: Smile and greet people, thinking of them as friends rather than enemies.
- Stand or sit in a self-assured, confident posture. Remain warm and open and make eye contact.
- Give up trying to be perfect and know that it is OK to make mistakes. Be natural, be yourself.
Natural home remedy using cardamom seeds:
1. Crush 3-4 cardamom seeds to powder
2. Take ½ tsp of this cardamom powder
3. Add to 1 glass of water
4. Mix well
5. Sieve the mixture
6. Drink 1 glass every day
Natural home remedy using cashew nuts and milk:
1. Crush some cashew nuts to powder
2. Take 1 tsp of cashew nut powder
3. Add 1 cup of warm milk
4. Mix well
5. Drink every day
Natural home remedy using brahmi/ashwagandha:
1. Brahmi and ashwagandha are commonly available ayurvedic herbs
2. Take 2 tbsp of brahmi or ashwagandha powder
3. Mix it in 1 glass of water
4. Drink 2 times a day