Performance anxiety is a common problem among both amateur and professional performers.
It occurs much more often among those who already tend to be anxious, and can best be understood as a kind of social phobia.
While some form of tension is important for a dynamic live performance, negative self talk and a sense of panic or impending disaster can spoil the experience for the performer and the audience.
A study of students an an American University School of music found that 21% reported “Marked distress”, while another 40% experienced “Moderate distress”.
Reported symptoms included flushing, quavering voice, nausea and dizziness.
Several studies have shown that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment.
A 1993 study using a two session hypnotherapy procedure that combined success imagery with rational-emotional therapy, (removing beliefs such as the notion that anything short of perfection is unacceptable), resulted in a marked reduciton, in most cases elimination of symptoms.
Two sessions one week apart were used, involving pleasant visual imagery and verbal suggestions that linked these images to increased mental control.
The hypnotherapy group showed a significant reduction in performance anxiety when evaluated immediately after treatment and again six months after treatment, indicating that the benefits are long lasting.
Other studies have shown similar results in the fields of sports and public speaking.
If you suffer from performance anxiety but are concerned that medication may take the edge off your performance then you might like to try hypnotherapy, as it is a proven effective treatment with zero side effects.