Behaviour rehearsal

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Behaviour rehearsal helps you to prepare for an event that you think will be stressful, before it even happens. Since most young people know ahead of time what situations will cause them stress, preparing for these events helps to reduce that stress. Behaviour rehearsal involves imagining the event before it happens, and then using relaxation methods you’ve learned to help you relax while imagining the event.

Learning how to do a behaviour rehearsal

To learn how to use behaviour rehearsal, let’s work through an example. Imagine that you are going to be trying out for a part in the school play. You would like to play the lead part, and you are worried that you will forget a line. Just thinking about it makes you nervous.

What you need to do is break the situation into parts that you can imagine. In the following example, we can break the situation down into four steps.

Example: Trying out for a part in the school play

Practicing your lines

You know that even when you practice your lines you feel nervous. So, to prepare, set aside some time each day to rehearse the event. Imagine looking into a mirror and saying your lines. Picture yourself succeeding on each line. Don’t forget to relax as you imagine each part.

Taking the bus the day of the rehearsal

You expect to be nervous as the bus approaches the school. You may have butterflies in your stomach or your heart may be pounding fast. Use belly breathing or mini-relaxation to imagine yourself sitting on the bus as you pull up to the school.

Walking to centre stage

Imagine how you will feel as you walk to centre stage. Imagine your heart pounding hard and fast. Imagine how it feels to have your thoughts racing. Now, use belly breathing or mini-relaxation to imagine yourself walking confidently to the centre stage.

Saying your lines

Imagine hearing your voice as you say your lines. Now, relax your body as you imagine saying your lines. Keep practicing until you can say your lines and be relaxed at the same time.

Practice tips

  • Imagine everything as clearly as you can.
  • While you are imagining each part of the situation, let your body relax.
  • Keep picturing the scene and do your relaxation exercises – belly breathing and mini-relaxation.

Think of one situation that you would like to rehearse. Now try breaking it down into three or four steps and practicing it. ​

Last updated: January 31st 2017