Minimizing Anxiety and Stress
This is an excerpt from my new book.
I really enjoy performing, but am not a big fan of “The Wait” before the show. Depending on the setting, it can be quite stressful. This is my GO TO technique in that situation. It works.
Most people have anxiety about giving a presentation to a group, or speaking in front of an audience. This a very common fear, and one which can prove to be an obstacle to your success and happiness.
It can also prevent you from undertaking new challenges which you are aware would be of value to you.
So I want to teach you something. It’s very simple. And extremely valuable. It is a technique, and it is an exercise. In hindsight is also common sense.
It does not matter your age or your state of health. It can help you focus, reduce your anxiety, increase your self confidence—and generally help you in a multitude of ways. It costs nothing.
This technique can be used by athletes preparing for the big game—or next play. It’s very useful for students facing a big exam. Or office workers with an important job related meeting. That big date. It is also regularly used by Navy SEALS in life-threatening situations.
And I use it a lot. Especially just before going onstage.
This technique WILL help you.
And it uses breathing.
It’s very simple.
You breathe in—inhale—nice, calm, relaxed, deeply for a count of 4. You then hold that breath in your lungs for another count of 4. Then you exhale all the air in your lungs for a final count of 4.
Do that 3 or 4 times, and you will find that immediately you are calmer, more relaxed and more focused for any task at hand. It really does work! And very quickly too.
Often, when we experience shortness of breath, a tightness, we are simply FORGETTING to breath properly. Literally. That can happen when we are stressed. And our breathing is can becomes impaired, shallow, and with tension. We want the opposite of that.
Self observation. I suggest you pay closer attention to your breathing. Notice the rate, and depth of your breathing–and the differences in when you are relaxed, at ease. And at times when you are definitely NOT relaxed. Be aware, recognize and remember the differences. And then change them.
This technique is of considerable value when feeling frustrated, sad, or confused.
Stop. Breathe. Relax.
‘Catch your breath’