Tips to Relieve Nerves & Gain Confidence
There are many areas where students at the Yoga Art Space Studio & Mantis Kung Fu Academy may experience a great amount of fear. For instance, after gaining a strong foundation, students attending Kung Fu will eventually experience an amount of sparring or being thrown. Students attending yoga classes may eventually be asked to go into inversions where the head is below the level of the heart and the weight of the body is balancing upright (such as a headstand, a forearm stand, or a handstand). Likewise, as we will shortly be adding Aerial Yoga onto our schedule, there will be times when we hang upside down and let go of the hammock with our hands, free floating above the ground. Any of these situations may enduce an element of fear because the body is not used to being in those situations. This is not to mention any of the millions of scenarios outside of our studio which may cause our nerves to pique. Today we will discuss a few tips that anyone can use to calm these nerves and to gain confidence.
Tip #1: Don't Forget to Breathe!
There are few differences in the body between the reaction of fear and the reaction of excitement. However, one of the main differences is in the breath. Namely, when we are afraid, we suck in a quick gasp of air and then hold it vs. when we are excited we keep on breathing. By continuing to breathe through the fear, we can trick our bodies into thinking we are actually excited.
One other tip here is that when the exhales are longer than the inhales, the relaxation response is naturally induced in the body. This is the breath that we take on naturally as we are falling asleep. The thing is that you can bring this breath into your body at any time to allow the body to relax when you're stressed. All you have to do is consciously take a deep breath in and then allow the outbreath to be even longer and fuller. Inhale for about 4 counts and then exhale for about 6 counts.
Tip #2: Try Repeating Positive Affirmations
Realize that our thoughts are creating our nerves. We can nip the thoughts at the bud by repeating positive affirmations when the negative thoughts arise (or at any time, really). A few affirmations we recommend are: "I alm calm. I am confident. I am loved. I am safe."
There are negative monsters inside of us (like fear) and there are positive creations inside of us (like confidence). The one that persists is the one that you feed.
Tip #3: Think Through the Fears
When trying to think positive thoughts doesn't change anything in your fear, allow yourself to analyze your fears. You can ask yourself, "What is the worst thing that would happen?" Following that, there are several follow-up questions you can think through. "If that does happen, is it really so bad on the larger scale of things? If that does happen, what would you do then?"
Once thinking through that, begin to think of everything that will happen if you nail it 100% perfectly. Will you have a smile on your face? Will it make your day? Will it make your life? It is important to think not only through the worst thing that can happen, but also through the best thing that can happen.
Tip #4: Be Well Rested
Does it take an expert to tell you that sleep makes everything better? Sleep improves memory, helps you live longer, curbs inflammation, sparks creativity, sharpens attention, reduces stress, aids in emotional wellness, and so much more! Being well rested will put you in a great position to tackle your fears head on!
Tip #5: Remember that Practice Makes Perfect
I can promise you that in almost any endeavor, you will probably not be perfect when you make the very first attempt. Humans are made for that! We're made to fail and to keep trying over and over again.
As the movie Green Street Hooligans teaches us, "Once you've taken a few punches and realize you're not made of glass, you don't feel alive unless you're pushing yourself as far as you can go."
Excited to stay up-to-date on our Aerial Yoga classes coming out soon at our studio? Check out our FAQs on our new Aerial Yoga Page here to learn about what aerial yoga will look like at Yoga Art Space! Also, take a minute to fill out the survey at the bottom to help us determine the optimal aerial yoga schedule for our space!