Anxiety is a specific emotion characterized by high arousal, negative valence, uncertainty, and a low sense of control (Gray, 1991; Raghunathan & Pham, 1999; C. Smith & Ellsworth, 1985)...Although anxiety is unpleasant and aversive, it can have positive effects on behavior. For example, if individuals feel anxious far in advance of an event, it can motivate effort and preparation through a process called defensive pessimism; when individuals make negative appraisals about future events, they work harder to avoid potential negative outcomes and prepare more thoroughly (e.g., Norem & Chang, 2002)...My findings demonstrate the profound control and influence we have over our own emotions. The way we verbalize and think about our feelings helps to construct the way we actually feel. Saying “I am excited” represents a simple, minimal intervention that can be used quickly and easily to prime an opportunity mind-set and improve performance.
I have started trying the "Get Excited" method with my students in private voice lessons and in choir. So far, it seems to be working. After we get more experience with it, I will post again with a more conclusive and thorough report.
What do you think? How do you teach your students to deal with performance anxiety?