Have you ever had butterflies in your stomach, felt short of breath or stomach cramps that feels like it will never go away? That could be a sign of stress or anxiety – DJs and performing artists especially experience this before they go on stage. But don’t worry, some of the best performers in the world, and even those that have been around for years, still experience this just before a show.
Anxiety can lead to panic attacks, so it’s important to reduce the symptoms by following the 5-4-3-2-1 technique that will help you refocus when feeling anxious. Take a deep, slow breath and exhale even slower – then, follow the 5 senses:
See: Open your eyes, look around you and name at least 5 things that you can see
Feel: Name 4 things that you can feel
Listen: Name 3 sounds that you can hear
Smell: Name 2 things you can smell
Taste: Name 1 thing you can taste (it can even be something that you ate recently)
The good news, though, is that a proper warm-up routine before performing on stage can decrease anxiety levels and it only takes around 15 – 20 minutes. Let’s take a look:
- Eat a high-protein, low-carb meal at least 2 hours before performing and avoid any salt. Spinach, kale or fatty fish can be added to your meal for extra brain food.
- Caffeine, especially in high amounts, will make you feel more anxious and can impact your performance drastically. Avoid energy drinks and replace it with low caffeine drinks or water with lemon. Did you know? Caffeine in energy drinks amounts to 10x more than a cup of coffee.
- Foam roll for about 5 minutes on your upper back, hips, glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. This will increase the circulation in these muscle groups and will prepare your body for moving around on stage.
- Perform a movement routine that will focus on your shoulders, hips and torso. These stretches will focus on these muscle groups for better neuromuscular control and an increase in your performance on stage.
- Get the brain in a performance mindset by completing a crossword puzzle game for about 5 minutes. This will also relive stress and boost your mood.
These routines will hopefully get you in the best mindset to be able to do your absolute best when you go on stage, whether you’re a DJ or a performance artist. And remember: anxiety can happen to anyone, and you’re not alone in this. Ready to take the stage?