Understanding Choking during Performance:
- Choking is caused by the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that impairs clear thinking and leads to self-monitoring and mistakes.
- Cortisol disrupts automatic skills controlled by the basal ganglia and cerebellum, negatively impacting short-term performance and long-term memory.
- The prefrontal cortex, responsible for problem-solving and decision-making, is affected by choking, further hindering performance in high-pressure situations.
Managing Performance Anxiety and Optimizing Performance:
- Our mindset and beliefs about stress and anxiety greatly influence their impact on us, including the level of cortisol in our bodies.
- There are two mindsets we can adopt: seeing stress as harmful or viewing it as enhancing.
- Adopting a stress-enhancing mindset can lead to a different experience of stressful situations.
- Research reveals that our mindsets about stress play a significant role in determining performance and functioning under stress.
- Cultivating a positive mindset towards stress triggers the release of DHEA, helping us handle stress and anxiety more effectively.
- Understanding cortisol’s influence is crucial in managing performance anxiety and maintaining peak performance.
- Developing stress tolerance involves gradually becoming more comfortable and improving performance under pressure.
- Purposefully engaging with stress helps handle challenges effectively.
- Flexibility and adaptability are crucial for optimal performance in different situations.
- Cultivating resilience by embracing stress builds confidence and maintains composure during high-pressure moments.
Strategies for Overcoming Choking and Enhancing Performance:
- Set clear goals and organize thoughts to overcome overload and choking.
- Use techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to change inner dialogue and foster confidence.
- Regulate physiology through breathing techniques, posture adjustment, and relaxation methods to manage stress and anxiety.
- Practice mental rehearsal and visualize success under pressure.
- Employ cognitive reframing techniques to reinterpret and navigate stressful situations.
- These strategies aim to help individuals remain calm, handle pressure, and enhance performance in various contexts, ultimately improving overall well-being and success.
Professor Alia Crum: Expert known for research on the impact of mindset on stress and performance.
Professor Kelly McGonigal: Expert known for research on stress and its effects on the body and mind.
Dr. Andrew Huberman: Expert emphasizing the importance of purposefully engaging with stress to handle challenges effectively. Host of the “The Huberman Lab Podcast.”