How to deal with stress? Methods of combating stress

How to deal with stress? Methods of combating stress

Before we start, I would like to point out that, unfortunately, there is no magic pill that would make stress disappear from our lives. Work on this issue is multifaceted and is often a long process. Better coping with stress can give us an improved quality of life. It is a pity to give up opportunities in life just because they put us under stress.

There will inevitably be situations in which you will be confronted with stress and I will list some of them here.

Ways to relieve stress before public speaking

Get ready

The first thing you need to take care of is preparation. The right number of repetitions will ensure that we are fully familiar with the content of our presentation. In addition, we will tame our reptilian brain, which limits us to only three options: fight, flight or pretend to be dead. So, how can we do it? Tell yourself the content of the speech. Then try to repeat it to your dog, someone you live with, friends, family or work colleagues. You will get used to performing and being the center of attention. The level of stress is always much higher when we are unprepared and do not have a thoughtful strategy. It’s a bit like the exam in college – if we only studied two hours before, then we can get very nervous. To get more help, you can ask a more experienced person for feedback.

Do you care about the opinion of others?

Many vocalists, lecturers or journalists spend their nights awake thinking about the opinions of others. In the process of socialization and growing up as children, we were shaped by messages like “what will others say?” We have learned that the opinion of others is our reference point in our actions or even life choices. Often this also applies to public speaking. Are you afraid of being criticized? Are you afraid of negative opinions or being ridiculed? You are not alone. This fear accompanies many people. You can’t please everyone. Fans of heavy metal music will not be delighted with pop, and fantasy literature readers may not be delighted with war reports. Freeing yourself from the need to meet the expectations of others and presenting something in harmony with yourself, with your values and artistic vision gives you great freedom and minimizes stress.

Ask for professional help

In a situation when the techniques and the attempts do not work, it is worth going to a professional for support. Thanks to this, we can gain essential tips or an opportunity to look at our patterns of functioning under stress and find solutions for ourselves in a safe and invaluable environment.

Mindfulness and stress

Relaxation techniques, mindfulness and meditation are becoming more and more popular. In a busy world, short moments of respite, in which we do not run, seem to be the last resort. In public speaking, the ability to relax is key. The mindfulness technique supports us in stress if we systematically practice it.

The first step is to observe your body. Many people don’t even know they are stressed. Only later do signals such as exhaustion of the body, increased drowsiness, chronic diseases or headaches show this fact. Check when you feel stress, where in the body do you feel it (stomach, head?) How does it feel? Note in what situations it occurs – is it the biggest day before the show, five minutes before or maybe after?
The second step is to observe the thoughts and beliefs that appear with the curiosity and kindness of a small child. For example: “I’m not competent and knowledgeable enough to present right now”, “I will compromise myself on the stage in front of a whole crowd of people”, “I can’t handle it,” “Why did I agree to do it? ” ponder all of these thoughts with the curiosity and kindness of a small child. You can even imagine a two-year-old who is curiously looking at a given thought.
The third step is to accept these thoughts and let them flow like clouds in the sky. Imagine that the thought, for example “I can’t manage”, is a cloud in the sky that you observe with curiosity and just watch it float away.
This is a very simplified model, more on this in the bibliography at the bottom of the article.

Take care of the basics - sleeping and eating

It may seem trivial, but proper care of basic physiological needs supports you in dealing with stress. Like the mantra repeated in the media, “drink 2 litters of water a day”, “sleep at least 7 hours a day” make sense. Not only will a lack of sleep and a nutritious breakfast in the morning impair your cognitive abilities, it will also reduce your physical and mental strength to fight the symptoms of stress. This grogginess and distraction will lead to increased levels of stress.

Massage

Stress can manifest muscle tension, which, in addition to mental work, can be reduced by massage. A good physiotherapist will know which parts of the body require relaxation. What’s more, such skin contact releases endorphins and oxytocins, which have a soothing effect.

Support system

In difficult moments, you can ask for support from loved ones. Often, a friendly face in the audience or a good word said behind the scenes before starting can help relieve stress. Don’t be afraid to talk about your stage fright.

Relax

There are many relaxation techniques. Everything that causes relaxation is good. Some people calm down while doing crosswords, others while walking, cleaning or reading books. Breathing exercises may also be benefitial. Find a method that works for you. The simplest method that does not require a lot of time and resources is conscious breathing.

Plan your time for a stressful event

Don’t schedule any unnecessary tasks or activities on the day of the speech. Plan to have someone else drive your child to kindergarten in the morning; do not set up difficult conversations with clients before; think about what to wear the day before and iron it in the evening; arrange a break for a moment of relaxation and do not go off the stage.

Visualisation

Visualization was first utilised in sports. Mental training has been successfully used in athletes’ training for many years. Research on the human brain has shown that when we think of something as if we were doing it, i.e. hit the ball with a racket – the same regions of the brain light up as during an actual game. How do we use it? We can imagine how confident we stand on stage, we have an audience in front of us that applauds us, etc. It is worth imagining a positive effect, assuming implementation from the next point.

Plan B

Positive thinking is extremely important, but at the same time you have a Plan B in case something goes wrong. How will you react when someone negates your presentation? What arguments can you use when someone disagrees with you? How will you encourage your audience to listen if you seem to be losing them? What will you do if you forget your line? How will you react when the computer stops working? By having answers to such questions before the speech, you will greatly reduce stress, because you will be prepared for every imaginable scenario. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to confront your fears.

Confidence

Why do confident people feel less stress than others? It is because they believe in their abilities and they are convinced that they can handle every situation. This self-confidence is paramount in reducing stress.

If you want to learn how to manage stress or public speaking skills, contact me here.

You can learn more about stress management during training in Zurich:

How does your mind trick you?

From an evolutionary point of view, having opinions, beliefs, typical patterns of action or assessments has its justification. Mechanical behavior has both negative consequences and also positive ones.
They shorten the time for making decisions, which can be an energy-consuming activity. It would be hard for us to function if we had to wonder every morning whether we should stop at a red light, whether we could touch a hot pot, or whether walking along a dark street at night, it is worth making new friends with a person carrying a knife.

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How to Deal with Imposter Syndrome? Strategies to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

In a world where communication is key, the ability to present oneself confidently is invaluable. Whether you’re addressing a boardroom, speaking at a social event, or leading a team meeting, the impression you make can significantly impact your personal and professional life. But what if you don’t naturally exude confidence? The good news is, confidence, much like any other skill, can be learned and honed. This article aims to unravel the secrets of appearing confident, especially when it comes to public speaking.

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How to be perceived as a self-confident person? 8 tips on how to make an impression of a confident speaker

In a world where communication is key, the ability to present oneself confidently is invaluable. Whether you’re addressing a boardroom, speaking at a social event, or leading a team meeting, the impression you make can significantly impact your personal and professional life. But what if you don’t naturally exude confidence? The good news is, confidence, much like any other skill, can be learned and honed. This article aims to unravel the secrets of appearing confident, especially when it comes to public speaking.

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How to use chatGPT for public speaking? How to prepare a presentation with chatGPT? 15 ways of using chatGPT

Are you curious how to prepare a presentation with chatGPTP faster and more accurately? With the help of AI tools like ChatGPT, you can streamline your research, brainstorm ideas, and fine-tune your content. In this article, we’ll explore 15 ways of using ChatGPT to create a compelling presentation and save time.

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How to manage stage fright? Framework to manage stress in public speaking

Why do you stress before public speaking? If you are not besties with stress yet, you can start working on establishing a long-term friendship with stage fright by asking yourself questions in this article and answering them honestly.

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How to use AI tools for public speaking? 10 ways to prepare a presentation with AI tools

Are you tired of spending countless hours perfecting your presentations? Well, fret no more because there’s a game-changing solution on the horizon: AI tools. Read more about a few tricks and tips on using AI to prepare a presentation’s draft, slides, and visuals, conduct it, and engage the audience.

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To read:

1. “Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness” Jon Kabat-Zinna
2. “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” Eckhart Tolle
3. “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World” Mark Williams, Danny Penman

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