When celebrities relax, it’s not all massages and yoga. Use these Hollywood-tested techniques to keep tension from tarnishing your performance, on stage or in life.

Use an Anchor
Let Pavlov’s dogs be an inspiration. Just as the sound of a bell made them drool, so can a sound—or an object, or a mantra—help you relax and refocus. You might place your hand on your heart as a reminder of what’s truly important, or sing a little ditty that invokes happy memories. Practice using the anchor when you’re relaxed, to strengthen its connection to calm.

See the Good in Stress
Sweaty palms and a tummy ache are signs of stress, for sure, but the way you interpret them is up to you. Research shows that you can choose how to see those signs—as your body bracing for imminent failure, or your system gearing up for success! That choice can make all the difference in your performance. So whether you’re facing your boss, your partner, or a sold-out stadium, use your stress as fuel for extra star power. It’s your body saying, “Bring it!”

Think Yes
Performers thrive on optimism. Your enthusiasm and positive energy are what make you so enthralling to your audience. By keeping your focus on the best possible outcome, you see solutions rather than problems (or screw-ups). When stress strikes, remember, the show must go on!