“I have a huge presentation tomorrow and I can’t sleep tonight”
“I am completely qualified for the job, but the interview gets me tongue-tied”
“I have an important test coming up and no matter how hard I study, I’m scared I’m going to fail”.
Anxiety, also known as worry or fear, affects all of us at some point in our lives. For some, it may be very mild and only happen under extreme circumstances. Others, it can happen daily and under conditions most might find easy.
**If you suffer with extreme, debilitating anxiety on a daily basis, please stop reading and find the nearest mental health professional. They are the best equipped to help you.**
However, if you are like so many of us and suffer from anxiety under specific circumstances, a test, public speaking or meeting new people, the good news is you can take easy steps to help quell that anxiety.
First things first: BREATHE
Yes, this is the first step any time you start to get nervous. Why? Breathing slows our heart rate and prevents our “primitive brain” (the one responsible for fight or flight) from taking over.
Next: VISUALIZE how you want the event to go*.
*Note: I said how you want it to go, not how you fear it might go.
How do you do this? Close your eyes, tilt your head up very slightly and picture yourself in the situation that is making you nervous, but You. Are. Killing. It. You are acing that interview, you are nailing that presentation, you know all the answers on the test. Note how you feel, what your posture feels like, how your body feels, how confident you are in your abilities.
Now do this short exercise once or twice a day leading up to your event. Keep picturing yourself excited rather than nervous, confident rather than scared and happy rather than worried.
If you can, right before your event, take some deep breaths and repeat the exercise. By now it should be almost second nature to you now. Once you are done, that same confidence, excitement and happiness you feel in your mind will be flowing through your veins. As you step into the situation, your visualization will move from dream into reality.