Peak Performance

The CR Way to Peak Performance

Performers of every kind get “butterflies.”

 

 

Do you experience performance anxiety? Many actors, musicians, public speakers, and others who appear before audiences call performance anxiety, stage fright, which can start weeks before a performance. As the event gets closer, physical symptoms are common – sweating, trembling, diarrhea. Finally, the big day comes, and simply eating may be difficult. While you wait to go on stage, your heart races as if you were going to be attacked. Continued nervousness while you perform can destroy your performance.

Stage fright affects performers at every level – from children, appearing at their first recital, to world famous artists who have appeared on stage hundreds of times. So it is no wonder that overcoming stage fright is something most performers think about a lot.

 

 

 

Performance Anxiety Affects Almost Everyone

And it is not just stage performers. Sales reps, public speakers, athletes, chess players, futures traders, and exam-taking students are just a few of the thousands of people who are affected by performance anxiety or nervousness.

Whatever you call it, performance nerves can ruin something you have worked hard for, whether it is a job interview or a gold medal.  

When people face the stress of performance, looking for a way to control their nerves is just natural. Some turn to alcohol, others to beta blockers*, for their calming effects. However, alcohol, besides the well known problems of alcoholism, dulls cognitive capabilities that are necessary for optimal performance. And beta blockers can have very serious side effects, including heart failure.

Next: What kind of performer are you?

 

* Beta blockers are class of prescription drugs, which are used primarily for treatment of high blood pressure. Beta blockers counteract the stimulatory effects of adrenaline by blocking beta receptors found in many tissues including the heart. When beta receptors are stimulated (naturally by adrenaline), the heart beats faster and harder and the blood vessels constrict, resulting in the fight-or-flight response that can be important to survival. This response elevates blood pressure and often nervous symptoms that many experience while performing.

The most common side effects of beta blockers are drowsiness and fatigue, along with dizziness and weakness. Dryness of the mouth, eyes, and skin may occur. And those taking beta blockers may develop cold hands and feet. Sleep disturbances and a decreased sex drive are less common but possible side effects of beta blockers.
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