According to a study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Australian teenagers suffer more exam anxiety than students in most other countries, with half of boys and three-quarters of girls admitting to stressing over their school work.
The survey was conducted in early 2017, with more than 72 participating countries.
Whether it’s learning lines for a production or sitting an exam, many actors can apply similar strategies to minimise their stress levels and face a challenge head on.
There are many ways you can overcome stressful situations. This article includes some proven tips to help you overcome stress:
Put it in perspective
It’s important for us to understand just where our task sits in the scale of life threatening obstacles. Ask yourself “Will this kill me?” If the honest answer is ‘no’ then adjust the pressure you are putting on yourself to reflect this. It does not mean you relax and slack off, just relax and get on with it.
Schedule it in
It is rare to meet somebody now-a-days who doesn’t have multiple balls in the air. Prioritising is great, but putting things off is not. Putting things off once might not create a problem. However, when something else ‘more pressing’ presents itself every week... you are suddenly days from a performance and you don’t know your lines. Schedule in time each day to work on specific lines, assignments, revision... well in advance. It takes some of the pressure off closer to your deadline. It’s like, paying weekly instalments to the electricity company and then discovering they owe you money when the bill comes. Win!
Find your joy
Take the serious things seriously, but have something that you can turn to when the stress is too high. Reading, singing, going for a walk...
something that grounds you and gives you peace of mind.
Life is meant to be lived, not lamented. Enjoy the challenge.
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