Entertainment Psychology: Dealing with Stress in the Entertainment Industry – Part 1

Psychologist to the stars Dr. Joan Pastor interviews with producer and filmmaker Suzanne Lyons on how to relieve stress in the entertainment industry.

We all know that being involved in the entertainment industry is an enormous cause of stress, and coping with stress can become detrimental to your career if you don’t deal with it effectively. There are many methods and techniques that can be helpful in reducing stress symptoms. Examples you may have heard of include breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, exercise, and meditation. Dr. Joan Pastor shares a specific technique that is guaranteed to reduce stress when you’re asking yourself, “How do I get peace of mind?” Dr. Joan’s clients all around the world find enormous success using this stress management technique.

The most common cause of stress in nearly any situation can be boiled down to a lack of confidence. This industry is so brutal and competitive, and self-doubt can always creep in no matter how talented and prepared you are. Sometimes it happens right before meetings, auditions, negotiations of contracts, and any other situation where you might be nervous.

Instead of letting the butterflies take over, take the time to prepare! The night before the event, find a place that will be quiet and private for 30 minutes. Bring in a pad of paper and a pen or pencil. In order to get rid of stress and restore confidence, you have to get to the root cause. Just for a minute let your brain think freely about what’s coming up, then Write, write, write, write, write, write, write! Make this a total stream of consciousness exercise. Dump out all your thoughts, feelings, concerns, worries, emotions, hates, loves, and EVERYTHING you’re feeling at that moment. Don’t censor anything, and don’t try to organize it.

This is called a “DUMP SHEET.” Here’s an interesting side note: The term “Dump Sheet” comes from the Journalism industry. After doing all their research, reporters wrote out a dump sheet in order to recognize their own thoughts, feelings, and even biases before they sat down to write the actual article. This process actually moves your thinking down a neural pathway from one part of the brain (where you’re stuck in a funk) to the frontal cortex where logic and clarity reign. Once you’re there – not only will you be able to discover what’s bothering you, you’ll be able to access great ideas, resolutions, and brilliant bursts of creativity. The benefit of writing it out is that you can go back to your paper and find patterns and things that are useful to you. Using this technique over and over again will give you even further insight into what’s causing your stress.

When the voice in your head isn’t giving you useful, positive, and encouraging, send it packing! Turn your next big, stressful meeting or event into an exciting opportunity. Go into it projecting confidence, with a plan of attack, and take your career to the next level by reducing stress at work, and especially in the insanely stressful entertainment industry.