Hands up if you haven’t ever experienced performance anxiety?! It’s quite common, but can be really frustrating because you know people haven’t seen you at your best. Performance anxiety can be so bad for some people that it’s actually debilitating, which means they either stop putting themselves out there and trying new things or are very controlled in what they will do. Chronic performance anxiety can lead to lowered self-esteem, not being accepted by peers and colleagues, or not getting the job or exam results that you know you’re truly capable of. Sadly, performance anxiety can become a vicious cycle as the anxiety can lead to poor performance and then a poor performance can cause even more anxiety!
As a holistic counsellor, I am amazed at how quickly the Young Living essential oils can help people stand in their power and give them the courage to have a difficult conversation (which is a type of performance), deal with stressful situations that cause anxiety, and try new things and believe in themselves. Here are some of the essential oils that support people the most to deal with performance anxiety.
Valor. When it comes to finding the courage to do almost anything, Valor essential oil is your go-to oil. It works on your physical and spiritual strength by helping you feel more confident and courageous amidst a challenge. Valor helps to align your energy centres and put you on your axis and in your boundaries, which leads to more empowered thoughts, feelings and behaviours. So the next time you feel nervous about a big exam, work presentation, sporting or musical performance, or just about any social setting, apply Valor roll on onto your wrists or upper stomach to get a boost of confidence.
“I use Valor on the bottom of my feet before the start of a long or potentially stressful day. 4-6 drops on each foot. For important meetings, it helps provide confidence and focus. For long days on my feet, it helps to provide the resilience I need to push through to the end. For days that I’m having a hard time prioritizing and staying on task, it helps to provide mental clarity. Valor is one of my favorite oils!”
Lavender. Lavender essential oil is one of those all-around essential oils that you can use for almost anything. It can help you to relax whenever you’re tense, so it works wonders if you feel panicky before performing tasks that require you to focus and concentrate. Diffuse lavender into the air or inhale it right from the bottle to feel calmer before your big performance.
“It has been a high anxiety time in my life lately. These anxious feelings hit in the middle of the night. I wake up with a racing heart, shaking all over like shivers, a lump in my throat, nausea, generally upset stomach, and a very dry mouth. While I am working on addressing the sources of the anxiety, I have found an oil combination that completely stops my anxiety attacks.
I put 2 drops of lavender and 2 drops of Di-Gize in a capsule, and it stops the attack in less than 10 minutes. This has worked for me 5 times. If I am feeling anxious before going to bed, I put 1 drop of lavender and 1 drop of Di-Gize in a capsule as a preventative measure.
Just knowing I have something that can help if I need it, without the risk of harmful side effects, is so comforting!”
Peace & Calming. As the name suggests, this blend was specifically formulated to ease anxiety and tension to find a centred place of peace and calm. Peace & Calming has been successfully used to ease anxiety and stress in numerous performance situations. It can be inhaled directly, diffused, or 1-2 drops applied to wrists, temples, nape or vitaflex points on the hands or feet.
“I had to give a deposition in an attorney’s office recently; needless to say I experienced a lot of anxiety. While sitting in the reception area I decided to see what oils I had with me and wound up using Peace and Calming wherever I could.
Well, I have to say that for 1.5 hours, about the time the deposition lasted, everything went absolutely beautifully. No heart palpitations, no tremors in voice, thinking was clear and concise, no nervous anxiety. I could feel the effects wearing off so I checked watch because I was curious to know how long the experience lasted. A great oil, I would imagine, to get one through all types of presentations.”
Clarity & Brain Power. When you need mental alertness and focus to perform a task, Clarity and Brain Power blends are the best ones to try. Many people who suffer from performance anxiety are scared of the repercussions if they botch something up, for example, training as an air traffic controller, bus driver, or surgeon. Applying Clarity and Brain Power onto your temples, wrists and/or neck can help you stay both calm and mentally sharp.
“I started using the Clarity and Brain Power to assist me with my studies and also help with my concentration at work. I have found that clarity by its self promotes clear thinking and recall of information quicker. With the addition of Brain Power round exam time, I feel that I am able to gain more focus and retain more information.”
Rosemary. Like Clarity essential oil, Rosemary essential oil also helps maintain mental alertness despite fatigue. Being mentally and physically fatigued before a performance (whether it’s due to the anxiety and poor sleep, sick child, work deadlines etc) can lead to more anxiety because you know your performance is likely to be impacted. Rosemary oil can help relieve the jitters, clear away any negative energy, and keep you focused. You can inhale it directly, apply to your temples and wrists, or add one drop to 4 oz. of soy or rice milk and consume it before you ‘step on the stage’.
“In my full time job, I have to speak in front of others a lot in morning sales meetings. I get asked a lot of questions after my presentation. I have found if I apply rosemary to my chakra points 1/2 hour before I go on, my head is much more clear, I feel focused and “in the zone” to be able to respond to the audience. I also found rosemary extremely helpful in choir practice. I don’t read music so I have to really pay attention and concentrate on the music director. It has truly made practice easier because I find that I can focus on the music and not be frustrated about not being able to keep up. Thanks rosemary!”
Bergamot. With its fresh citrusy scent, you can never go wrong with bergamot essential oil for uplifting your mood. In addition, it can also help you feel more relaxed and more confident when you’re about to carry out an important task. Whether it’s a big interview, important match game or an exam you’re about to face, apply some bergamot oil to your temples and forehead to help you gain the confidence you need.
“I decided to try Bergamot instead of Lavender and oh my gosh! It helped even more to release my anxiety and tension better than Lavender and I don’t feel nearly as drowsy or sleepy.
I put a drop across my forehead, temple to temple, then a drop across my shoulders, then a drop on my tummy if the tension is really bad. I feel better almost immediately and notice the full benefits within a few hours. If the tension is really, really bad I’ll continue to apply Bergamot until I feel better, I wait about 10-15 minutes before I apply more and continue to monitor how much it’s helping.
I am not big on the smell of Bergamot, however, it helps more so I’ll continue to use it and always have a backup bottle on hand.”
Frankincense. Like Bergamot essential oil, Frankincense is also a stimulating and uplifting oil that can help you focus and relieve nervous tension. It is commonly used for anointing and all things brain related. If you feel you need mind body spirit connection to perform well, try a drop or two of Frankincense on your temples, nape, wrists, thumb or big toe.
“I began putting frankincense (just a couple drops diluted with olive oil) on my feet each night for general immune support. For as long as I can remember, I’ve dealt with varying degrees of anxiety. Most of the time it’s no big deal, but it’s always there somewhere in the back of my mind.
After a few weeks of nightly application of the frankincense, I realized the anxiety was gone. I felt very centered, grounded, and relaxed; even about things that normally would trigger a high level of stress for me.
Then I got lazy and stopped using the frankincense, and the anxiety came right back. I liked being free of that, so now I’m sticking to my nightly ritual and have added a drop of the Peace and Calming blend layered on top of the frankincense…”
I think all of us have suffered from performance anxiety and it can feel quite uncomfortable – nausea, sweating, shakes, can’t think straight etc. Even some actors, presenters and musicians who perform regularly and seem so confident onstage also battle with performance anxiety. However, others actually thrive being under the spotlight. To emulate their cool confidence and apparent ease, essential oils may be just the trick to help eliminate tension and improve your performance! So next time you have an important meeting, job interview, presentation, exam, speech, performance, gig etc and you start to feel those nervous butterflies, apply some Young Living therapeutic-grade essential oils to help you feel calm, centred, relaxed and focused so your best will shine through!
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