One of the most common areas where hypnosis helps artists is to reduce anxiety. I would disagree with the common myth that you have to be nervous to be able to perform well. The alertness that anxiety brings can keep you on edge and give you the desire to perform well. However, anxiety can also reduce your desire to perform at all if the anxiety is very bad and you are less able to bring out subtleties in your perfromance because you can be too focused on your feelings.
Nerves have a mental effect by reducing your concentration and memory. If you need to remember lines, music or dance moves then anxiety is more likely to make you forget them. You are less able to react to other people so you are less likely to improvise and try new things that could improve the performance.
Anxiety also has a physical effect on you, causing irritable bowel syndrome, nausea or stomach problems, increases your heart beat and your movements will be less fluid. None of these effects will help you to perform well.
People always perform better when they’re relaxed, whether it’s in the performing arts or in sports. Your body needs to be relaxed for you to have the most control over it.
Hypnosis can help you relax and you can use self hypnosis to get yourself into a comfortable, calm state so that you have the confidence to perform to the best of your abilities.
But relaxation is only one part of it. You do also need alertness so that you can react quickly both physically and mentally and you are focused on what you are doing. You don’t want to let your mind wander off on something else.
Hypnosis is focused concentration so when you are hypnotised you have a hyper awareness of your surroundings, allowing you to react quickly and adapt as necessary.
You probably know what it feels like in a rehearsal when everything hangs together and flows perfectly. You are most likely to be in a self hypnotic state on those occasions, totally in tune with everything that happens and because it’s a rehearsal you don’t feel as anxious so you can allow yourself to react by instinct. That is the type of feeling that hypnosis allows you to regenerate.
If you are confident in your abilities then you won’t need to be nervous because you know that you are capable of what you are about to do.
Hypnosis can help to increase confidence, reminding you of your skills and abilities and reassuring you that you can access them whenever you need to. It can also help you feel more relaxed, which your increased confidence will also add to.
The best way to use hypnosis is to find a hypnotherapist who can teach you some self hypnosis techniques that you can use before a performance. You can also address any self esteem issues that might be causing anxiety.