I got so many responses from my last post about tips for the exceptionally nervous that I wanted to share more about how to reduce anxiety. Here are a few easy and interesting techniques.
Oxytocin. Perhaps you have heard about this interesting hormone. It's referred to as the love hormone. Oxytocin is a hormone that both men and women produce when they are feeling good and can counteract fear and anxiety. It's difficult to be anxious and fearful when you're feeling good!
I read somewhere that even when you look endearingly at a baby and sigh, as in, "aww, look how cute she is," you produce this hormone. When you want to turn around any feelings of stress, anxiety or fear, take a deep breath and then sigh out loud - really dramatize it! Even a nice loud, long yawn can create oxytocin if it makes you feel good.
Use this technique right before you are going to make your presentation. It helps you to breathe deeper and can help calm your nerves. Do it as often as you like. You might want to do it every day as part of your own stress management for everyday stresses too.
Stress and anxiety can make you feel off balance. What's happening is that you are "in your head," thus not "in your body." You mind is active with self-worry and doubt. Another way to relax is to do some simple exercises (really simple!). While standing, touch your right hand to your left knee (bring your knee up). Then, touch your left hand to your right knee, crossing the mid line of the body each time. It's like you are marching. Repeat at least 6 times for each side.
Touch your right to the left foot in back; then touch your left hand to the right foot in back, cross the mid line again and repeat at least 6 times for each side.
This next one is hard for me to start, but once I get it right, I have it. Lift your right arm up and to shoulder level to your side and at the same time, lift your left leg out so that you resemle half of an "X." Swith and repeat at least 6 times.
By the time you have done these exercises, you have taken your mind off of your worry and begun focusing on these brain teaser exercises - simple, yet effective to get you grounded (you'll be focused on your feet).
Thank you to Michael Yeager, a holistic health practitioner in Houston, for these exercises. Michael has several more of these simple, yet effective routines that help you get your balance, get relaxed and alert.