All of us have situations that we find stressful, waiting in line, exams, talking to someone you are attracted to or going for an interview are just a few examples. Wouldn’t it be nice to control that nervousness at a moments notice? Then try some of these techniques when you find it is all too much.
Withdrawing From The Situation
When you are in the wrong environment it can be nothing but a stress inducer. Say for example you are outside the room waiting for your interview and the stress is building being in that unfamiliar environment can just make you feel even more uncomfortable.
One way to ‘get away’ from that place is to direct your mind and your senses to do other things. If your senses are fully occupied you’ll have no time to be stressed.
First things first you should close your eyes. You get a lot of information coming in visually and to be able to control it better you should stop that sensory overload.
The next thing that you should do is start focusing on very specific things to do with each sense all at the same time so that you don’t have time to focus on anything else.
With your eyes try and focus on a point in the darkness, with your ears listen to the ringing of your blood, with your touch focus on the air coming in through your nose, down your throat, filling up your lungs and out.
This should take your mind away from the situation because your mind is overloaded with trying to do these three things similtaniously and the breathing should slowly relax you.
This one is generally reserved for a time when you are completely alone, have time and a bit of peace. It will take slightly longer but should be more effective and work for deeper rooted stresses.
To start off find a comfortable position and close your eyes and then follow the sensory overload technique from the first section.
Once your mind is clear and you feel like you are ready, keep up the deep breathing and actively relax individual muscles in your body. Start with the top of your head, wait until that is totally relaxed and then move down to your forehead, then your face and so on. Make sure you relax only one at a time and make sure that area is completely relaxed before you move on to the next and work your way down all the way to your toes.
If you are still feeling some tension at the end of this exercise then continuing with the heavy breathing start to focus your tension into your chest and then feel it escape from your body a little more with every deep breath.
At this point your body should be totally relaxed and your mind off your problems so you could just stop there but if you want to gain a positive from the experience then you could pre plan an objective to achieve during your meditation.
At this stage you should start to tell yourself positive things about the way you would like to behave or feel in a certain situation. One very important thing is not to even hint at the negative so for example a bad thing to say would be ‘I’m not going to walk in there and fall on my face!’. The thing that you are going to remember about that is the falling over on your face part.
Try instead to stick to positive statements so instead a good statement would be ‘I am going to walk in there and they are going to see I am right for the job straight from that first moment‘. These are all positive things that you ARE going to do not what you aren’t going to do.
One more tip as well, avoid ambiguous statements and try and tell yourself things decisively. So for example a bad thing to say would be ‘I am going to try my very best to give up smoking’. The word try implies that you might not succeed. ‘I will give up smoking’ tells your unconcious that there is no choice in this matter and you are going to succeed.
Once you bring yourself slowly out of your meditation then you will feel more positive about yourself and more relaxed in general.
Try this in the next stressful situation you are in and then let us know if it works for you in the comments section.