By Heidi Swedberg // From the Fall 2018 issue of Ukulele

BREATHE DEEP
Controlled breathing techniques can help counteract an adrenaline rush. Try counting slowly to six as you inhale, and again as you exhale.

THINK POSITIVE
Keep the shame monster at bay by replacing negative thoughts with these words: “I am enough. I am good enough. I am worthy.” Or make up your own positive mantra.

EMBRACE VULNERABILITY
See your hands shaking? Fear that your voice might crack? Decide that these things will make your performance better, not worse. Accept the fact that you are nervous, and consider it a gift.


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CENTER YOURSELF
Try a moment of meditation, or stand on one foot and find your balance.

MAN UP!
A simple trick to calm the jitters is to  change your body language. The hormone testosterone, present in both women’s and men’s bodies, gives us more “fight.” Sitting or standing in a closed position, such as crossing legs and arms, inhibits the production of testosterone, whereas an  open position encourages it. Try this while waiting in the wings: manspread. Take up more room in your chair or, better yet, take  a powerful, wide stance, arms akimbo.

You’ll communicate confidence to your amygdala—and your audience.

Your Ukulele Can Help You Conquer Stage Fright

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