I’m Just Average Teen Me. From previous posts, you might know that I recently underwent a guitar exam. Grade 5 to be specific. Obviously, that comes with a whole lot of nerves and worries, as any exam would do in the first place. The difference with these is: you have to perform it. No siting down and writing essays in your own time. You perform.
So, it had been about a year and a half since my last exam like that one, and as a person, I’ve changed good bit. I’m guessing that my ability to cope with nerves has plummeted, because I was way more nervous this time. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with my ‘panic attack’ in October… Anyways, I found myself doing a bunch of things to try and calm myself down, so I thought it might be useful for other people if I let you know those ‘things’.
Get away from whatever is making you anxious
It seems only logical, but when you’re panicking, the last thing you want to do is to stop focussing on what it is that you’re freaking out over – especially if it’s an exam. Look at it this way. If you’re in a room, and it’s filled with smoke, choking you, what do you do? You leave the room and get some fresh air, duh. So if you’re being swallowed up by last minute cramming, or whatever it is that you’re doing, get out. Find some space away from it, and breathe.
Distract yourself with something you enjoy
Being in a generally happier mood is probably going to make you feel a lot less nervous. Anything that can catch your attention, and make you forget that the source of your fears even exists is perfect. With my exam, I went into my brothers’ room and tried to play with the magnetic dartboard. That ended up not being such a good idea, so I ended up dancing to Work From Home. Yes, I know the choreography. That successfully made me forget why I was even dancing in the first place, which even if it was only for 10 seconds, was a step in the right direction.
Nothing is worse than repeatedly telling yourself that you cannot do something. Every time you say that, you’re stacking up a higher, and higher barrier inside your head. Eventually, you won’t be able to see over the barrier, and the truth is that you won’t be able to do well. Try telling yourself that you CAN do it, because you can. Slowly, you’ll pull down that barrier you built, and success will be visible!
Chant the lyrics of songs to yourself
As we all know, singers perform. BUT, a lot of the time, we forget that they must have some form of nerves when they get up in front of thousands of people! Sometimes repeating certain lines of a song (in your head) can be super helpful! If you’re interested, I like to use BO$$ by Fifth Harmony, being the Harmonizer that I am. Specifically, the line that says “C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T THAT’S ME I’M CONFIDENT”
If trying to apply things to yourself isn’t working, and you end up going back to the fidgety, jittery you, then imagining yourself as someone else might just do the trick. Obviously, accepting you for who you are is very important, and you shouldn’t try to change yourself for anyone except you. All I’m saying is, try to get into the mindset of that person, and become them. Picture yourself in their body. What would they do? Personally, I’ve found that Quinn Fabray from Glee has been quite effective, since she’s such a strong character, who has been through a lot. If you’re having trouble convincing yourself, changing something small might help. For instance, I like to wear my ponytail higher up, which now, I do all the time. It ended up a lot more comfortable than I expected. Plus, I feel tonnes more confident!
Whatever you’re doing, getting your breathing under control is a must. When you’re panicking, you tend to hyperventilate slightly, or dramatically depending on the situation. Some people might hold their breath to try to calm down. Don’t do that. It will only stress out your body even more. Just breath in through your nose for about three seconds, and then out through your mouth for four. Repeat this over and over, visualising yourself calming down slowly until you feel more comfortable.
Those are the main ways that I would personally use to calm myself down, and deal with any intense or minor anxieties that I have. Being a teenager myself, I know how useful some posts like these can be when you need them, so I’m hoping that some of you might find some use in this one!
–Just Average Teen Me
P.S. I PASSED THE GUITAR EXAM