Wednesday, April 10, 2013

L&B NYC: Ben Bernstein

L&B 2013 NYC Ben Bernstein - Performance Anxiety and How to Reduce It Books: Test Success! How to Be Calm, Confident & Focused on Any Test and Teen Success! How to Be Calm, Confident & Focused The importance of context is so vital in terms of positive outcome. Viola Spolin: Improvisation for the Theater. The first 40 pages should be a stand-alone text for all teachers. The Yerkes-Dodson Curve of performance vs. stress Everyone needs to know about this curve. Perhaps especially teachers and coaches. What is performance? preparation + spontaneity = presence Presence is something we need to teach in schools. The ability to access what you have learned (preparation) and then use it in novel ways (spontaneity) For example, cooking, sports, and sex all require this combination What is stress? Stress is a function of disconnection Rather than pointing fingers, we need to look inside to see our reactions to stressors. How do we respond to them? "Separation is an optical delusion" Einstein Dalai Lama: When we experience stress, we are disconnecting from the whole in some way. We are like a three-legged stool. The three legs are Spirit, Body, and Mond. All legs need to be balanced and functioning or we will be destabilized. Spirit: Focused Body: Calm Mind: Confident Awareness and tools. You must be able to be aware of when you are out of balance and use tools to come back into balance Personalizing Download the Performance Inventory from his site. Fill it out for a stressful performance situation. Total scores and fill in your "stool" at the bottom Tools Staying Focused What is focus? Having a goal and taking actions that get you to the goal What is your goal? What are your distractions? Visualize the goal. Take action toward your goal. Visualize the distraction. Stop the distraction. Ask, "Is this taking me to my goal?" Listen to the voice that's going to give you specific direction to get you back on track. Fulfill the direction of the voice. To reduce stress: 1. Cultivate your awareness of disconnection. 2. Use the following core tools to reconnect. Focus Stop and ask, "Is this distraction taking me to my goal? Listen to your inner voice for the next step. Fulfill your purpose. Get yourself back on track. If the spirit is not engaged, you are starting off on the wrong footing.  If you see distraction in yourself and others, find out why.  The goals have to be our own. For our students, we have to find a way to connect what we need them to do with what they want to do. Confidence Confide in your confidant. Let go of the negativity. Reflect back something accurate and positive. Envision taking small, manageable steps. This relates to all of those negative thoughts that creep in. They make us feel disconnected because we feel like we're "the only one" that's bad at something. We must confide in someone - a friend, a parent, a teacher, or even the imagined "best version" of ourselves - who can then encourage us. Calm Breathe deeply down to your belly. Ground yourself. Feel the floor. Release tension. Sense your surroundings through your five senses. Disconnected from our bodies and our environment. Must re-establish that connection through mindfulness. We need to do all of this, too. We need to be more "with" our students.

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