Impro and Anxiety

by Rhys Auteri on 24 January, 2020


It may surprise you to know that many of Impro Melbourne’s talented performers and students suffer from anxiety and other mental health issues. For many, their struggles were a key motivation in taking an impro class. Sam – an IM student – recently contacted us to let us know some of her experience.

“I originally signed up to Impro Melbourne’s Spontaneity class to help me overcome aspects of my anxiety that I would describe as 'incredible shyness'”, says Sam. “The build up to the first class was terrifying but I held in there and ended up having a great time, in spite of my anxiety.

People who go to impro shows can often perceive the performers to all be quick-witted extroverts, brimming with confidence. But the principles of impro are less about craving attention, and more about learning to be present with others, to listen and be heard, to build trust and to embrace uncertainty.

According to Sam, “Impro Melbourne creates a learning space that is safe, and welcomes all. As time went on, I felt more and more comfortable to take risks, which is where the fun happens.” Sam’s not alone in this revelation. More and more people are seeing the benefits of impro classes for anxiety and other issues. 

Psychology experts are also endorsing the benefits. Impro games and skills can help bring people out of their shell in an environment where whatever you add to the scene will be accepted and failure is celebrated, not condemned.
For Sam, the results have been fantastic: “I have been going to Impro Melbourne on and off for close to two years now. I love the changes I have seen in myself and I love what it does to boost all other aspects in my life. I can't recommend Improvisation enough! If you are wondering if you are ready for this, it’s time to act now. Thanks Impro Melbourne!!!”

If you would like to try a Impro Melbourne workshop click here for more information

For more information on anxiety and Impro, here are some relevant links: