05 October 2008

5 Tips To Beat Anxiety

5 Tips To Beat Anxiety
Anxiety symptoms can be easily recognised from a person’s face. A behaviour full of fear, apprehension, distress, uneasiness, tensed desire, agitated desire and so on. This is the person who is anxious, apprehensive, concerned, distraught, expectant, fraught, fretful, impatient and uneasy. A person enters an anxiety zone if the clumsy mind is not managed appropriately.

Anxiety can hit even the coolest person on earth. It is one of the major stumbling blocks to success. If it is not dealt or managed properly, the anxious person will portray a timid and non dynamic personality to the public. It prevents participation in social networking which is the major catapult for any success.


Never expect the negative

The mind presupposes an end to a momentum of an event in question. It expects a result. The mind is ‘trained’ to expect a result. Why I say this? What goes up must come down. This is common sense. If you throw a marble to the air it has to drop. That is the natural order of things. What happens if it just be static in the air? The next moment the press will be called to report the phenomena.

This very essence of the mind sets the subject to be in certain behaviour. If the thing expected is positive the behaviour is favourable. For example, a public speaker who expect that the audience will admire and love his speech in the end, will display enormous confident when he speaks. He will be full of smile and happy. He displays friendlier posture and aptitude. This behaviour sends a positive signal to the audience and he becomes a good public speaker.

Linguist Geoff Nunberg note on what makes Mr Obama a good speaker is that ‘if you come with the idea or hope of being engaged…it is engaging’. In other words, if the mind expects a good result the process will be positive.

Remember the last time you had an anxiety trap. Have you got in this kind of situation where you lost your voice during an interview or a presentation where you expected the worse? The next time you feel the same way, use this tactic to escape from such feeling.


Be Prepared In your own way

I have my own experience in this. I remember I was sitting for my mathematics examination in my secondary four finals. I somehow cannot grasp the way to solve a problem in mathematics. However I practice mathematics I got the wrong answer. I carried the belief that I cannot solve a mathematical problem to my examination day. I felt anxious throughout and whenever I sat for the examination. It was because no matter how I tried to solve a problem I could not get it right. I have never got a pass in my previous preliminary examination.

I find reasons to dislike mathematics. In order to find a correct method to solve a problem is like playing golf. One ball and a small hole in a vast open space! My peers told me that practice makes perfect. It is easy said. I knew this but I had to find an alternative way to prepare for this. Can I prepare this in my own way?

I found a way to study by learning worked solutions to a problem. I bought a ten year series on all the probable questions and worked solutions. I read all the probable questions and worked solutions over and over again. I covered this ten year series ten times before the big day. Guess what? I pass the final exam. Why I want to share this experience is that the majority cannot be the right answer.

If you have a task at hand which you think will make you anxious, my advice is to prepare the task in your own way. Once you know what to do then the rest fall in its place.

Do the hard job first; the easy job will take care of itself.


Your contribution is important

When anxiety traps a person to inaction the subject must interpret his participation as a contribution rather than a job. A job can be performed by anyone. When you give you are on the upper hand. Can an employee tell what to do to an employer? This is exactly how to place the mind when attacked by the feeling of anxiety.

In the first place you have been invited for the speech as your organisation thinks you can contribute to the company. Ask not what the listeners want to hear ask what you can contribute to the listener. A potential politician can be viewed as a future leader if the subject convinces listeners of his or her contribution to the country in general.

If the performer has a mindset that the performance is just a job anxiety might set in quickly. Doing just a job might get wrong. But a contribution is a gradient of information from the upper class to the lower end. A contributor feels that everyone is the same like the teeth of a comb. Even if you are standing in front of a media or giving a speech or presenting to the high ranking bureaucrats if you manage your mind into thinking that you are contributing you can have a balance like a ballet dancer. No one knows the topic than you do. Contribute and be cool


Control the situation

In most of the time you are not an anxious person. It is sometimes caused by outside elements.

I had the opportunity to talk about the facility in my estate to the media recently. Well the media representative requested me to give the small performance in Tamil language as earlier on I have given the piece of information in English.

My Tamil language is not as good as my English language and I hesitated initially. After much persuasion I accepted it as a challenge. The interview came and prior to the interview I did step 2 above. I prepared this in my own way. I did well and I was extraordinarily confident doing the interview in Tamil language.

When I stepped in front of the camera, the representative of the media told me to say a certain portion of the facility which I had missed during my English interview earlier. That is it. And I had to take a four times media shots. That made my mind ran into an anxiety trap. I have lost all my readiness for my Tamil interview. I was perspiring with anxiety. I stopped and think again to control the situation.

What I had said in English will be similar in any other languages. I requested the media representative to insert Tamil subtitles when the show runs on the air. She agreed.


Ask question

Have you seen people who ask many questions in a conversation? What they are doing is to get some piece of your mind about a topic in conversation. Once they get all that you have they prepare mentally how to defend their argument later on. You can apply the same tactic to your audience.

Ask them the question how they can add value to his contribution or how they can improve the existing situation. You can do this when anxiety strike you during your performance, presentation, interview or public speaking. This kind of question asking comes very handy during job interview. You can ask how the job you are applying arose in the first place. By asking question you are ‘killing two birds in one stone’ – adding some contribution from the listeners to your topic in question in which case actually make your presentation realistic. Very importantly you are actually diverting listeners’ attention away from you (as you are locked in an anxiety trap)

When John F Kennedy spoke ‘Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country’ what do you think he meant. He became an extraordinary public speaker. No President of the United States of America has had such confidence in front of public. Was his ‘anxious free’ public speaking bestowed by God? I do not think so.

John F Kennedy put the public in one corner that it was their responsibility of giving to the nation together with their leaders. The onus did not lie solely with the leaders who had been portrayed as ‘vote buyers’ and at the ‘servants’ of voters. ‘Can you contribute to the country? This historical question made by the late admirable John F Kennedy made him an ‘immortal’ confident speaker of all time.

Ask question like ‘what can you contribute to my contents?’

The next time you become anxious do not forget to try out the above tips to escape from the anxiety trap.

1 comment:

Dan Mihaliak said...

Thanks for your very helpful tips. I will try to use them.