Stage Fright

What is stage fright?

Stage fright, also known as stage fright, is a personal state that reduces communication effectiveness. The person is unable to express him/herself because there is a fear that holds him/her back. It affects all types of people who have to appear before a group of people, even when they are not going to speak. For example, it can affect musicians, dancers or athletes.

What are the symptoms of stage fright?

Symptoms can occur at different levels:

  • Physiological: sweating, altered heart rate, headache, upset stomach, chills, nausea.
  • Cognitive: mental congestion and confusion, self-demanding, fear of failure and ridicule.
  • Behavioral: escape from the situation, stuttering, frequent or long silences, use of painkillers or stimulants.

What are the causes of stage fright?

Stage fright is often associated with social phobia, which is characterized by the following cognitive errors:

  • Unrealistic appraisal of what one expects
  • Underestimation of one’s own abilities
  • Overestimation of the opinion of others
  • Unrealistic expectations of others’ responses to anxiety
  • Overestimation of the idea of rejection

Can stage fright be prevented?

There are several tips to follow to avoid stage fright:

  • Always keep in mind the present, not the past or the future.
  • Do not become obsessed with being perfect
  • Look at the end of the stage or at whoever is smiling and forget about the audience’s criticism.
  • Do not dramatize mistakes
  • Enjoying yourself as if no one was watching
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What does stage fright treatment consist of?

There is psychotherapy aimed at overcoming stage fright, which can be divided into three types of technique:

  • Cognitive techniques: they are based on psychoeducation and aim to make the patient see that anxiety is caused by negative thoughts about himself.
  • Relaxation techniques: they aim to achieve the effects of the drugs, but permanently, not just for a few hours.
  • Behavioral techniques: social skills are practiced.