Ways To Reduce The Stress Of Presenting
In the past 30 years, Ive given more than 3,000 speeches to audiences across the world. Presentations have been such a central part of my work that many who know me best have been surprised to learn how much anxiety they used to cause me. After my fourth root canal, my dentist pointed out that I appeared to be grinding my teeth at night. He suggested a mouth guard. Over the next few years, I ground through three of them. Fortunately, materials science advanced faster than my grinding and I eventually received a more durable one. Still, I had almost resigned myself to the fact that fitful sleep, restless legs, and a variety of aches throughout my body were the price of the career I had chosen.
I knew I had turned a corner 10 years ago when I was invited to speak to a prestigious business audience at Radio City Music Hall. I slept peacefully the night before. And when I stepped through the crimson curtains to face 6,000 nattily dressed executives, my former panic and dread were replaced with a sense of exhilaration and gratitude.
As I came to realize that presentations would be a permanent facet of my career, I began accumulating tactics to increase my pleasure while reducing the pain. Here are six that have made an enormous difference for me:
You and Your Team
Dont let it get the better of you.
How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purposeit enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including:
Facts About Stress & Burnout
If youre not yet convinced about the need to prioritize stress management, these 14 facts might help:
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Avoid Alcohol And Drugs
While it may be tempting to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs when youre dealing with cognitive fog, its important to avoid them.
Alcohol and drugs can actually make cognitive problems worse, so its best to steer clear of them if you can.
If youre struggling with addiction, there are many resources available to help you recover.
Reach out to a friend or family member, or seek professional help if you need it.
Coping Strategies For How To Relieve Stress
Rather than being caught up in our stress, meditation teaches us to become the observers of certain mental patterns and, therefore, become less physically affected by them.
Experiencing stress usually creates a story in the mind, and if we get caught up in such stories â saying things to ourselves or others like, âIâm stressed!â â then we essentially keep ourselves in the stress, ensuring that weâll feel that way for the rest of the day.
When we meditate, weâre taking the time to be curious about what weâre thinking and feeling, as though we are looking at stress through a new lens. In this deliberate reframing of our experience, we can dramatically alter how we view and relate to stress.
How we perceive stress can either exacerbate or minimize our physical responses, and so meditation affords us the opportunity to step back and zoom out, noticing how the mind feeds stress-inducing thoughts and storylines.
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Take Control Of The Condition
Do you know what the most common trigger for stress at work is often?
Not having control over a situation is what causes the problem altogether. Youd be surprised to know that we get stressed at work when we fail to either meet deadlines or feel like the assigned work is out of our realm of capability.
It is human instinct to panic and feels under stress when situations are out of our control. This is exactly what correlates with the work stress too.
While being stressed a few times because of extensive work pressure is okay, the same thing happening chronically is not at all admirable and required. It has also been found to have impacts on the confidence and overall well being of an individual.
In order to cope with stress at work, it is important that you remain in control of your own actions because that is what helps bring in the peace of mind that you are seeking on.
Take Some Steps On Your Own
Get organized. âLess clutter in your physical surroundings, email inbox, and to-do bucket will help your mind be more at ease,â Braslow says. You donÃ¢t have to tackle it all at once. Make a plan to work on one area at a time.
Make new goals. Is there something youÃ¢ve always wanted to do, or a place you want to go? Create a step-by-step, realistic plan to make it happen.
Do something meaningful. Get involved in an activity that feels important to you. It may be athletic, political, spiritual, or a social cause where you can volunteer. Look for something that gives you a sense of purpose.
Be creative. Direct your focus into something constructive. Rediscover your strengths. If you have a long-lost talent or interest, dive back into it. Braslow suggests trying poetry, music, photography, or design.
Read a good book. Itâs a great way to relax. ThereÃ¢s even research that shows that reading books on spirituality or psychology may boost your mood.
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Tip : Bring Your Senses To The Rescue
To use your senses to quickly relieve stress, you first need to identify the sensory experiences that work best for you. This can require some experimentation. As you employ different senses, note how quickly your stress levels drop. And be as precise as possible. What is the specific kind of sound or type of movement that affects you the most? For example, if youre a music lover, listen to many different artists and types of music until you find the song that instantly lifts and relaxes you.
Explore a variety of sensory experiences so that no matter where you are, youll always have a tool to relieve stress.
The examples listed below are intended to be a jumping-off point. Let your imagination run free and come up with additional things to try. When you find the right sensory technique, youll know it!
Notice What Accompanies It
While acne encompasses various skin issues , regular breakouts typically involve just one or two symptoms. Pimples caused by stress, on the other hand, are generally accompanied by coarse and oily skin, blackheads, and whiteheads. Such pimples are also defined by their red and inflamed appearance.
While differentiating between acne formed due to stress and regular breakouts is easy, getting rid of stress pimples is hard. Or is it? We have listed in the next section the different ways you can get rid of stress pimples.
How Can You Avoid Stress
Stress is a fact of life for most people. You may not be able to get rid of stress, but you can look for ways to lower it.
You might try some of these ideas:
- Learn better ways to manage your time. You may get more done with less stress if you make a schedule. Think about which things are most important, and do those first.
- Find better ways to cope. Look at how you have been dealing with stress. Be honest about what works and what does not. Think about other things that might work better.
- Take good care of yourself. Get plenty of rest. Eat well. Don’t smoke. Limit how much alcohol you drink.
- Try out new ways of thinking. When you find yourself starting to worry, try to stop the thoughts. Or write down your worries and work on letting go of things you cannot change. Learn to say “no.”
- Speak up. Not being able to talk about your needs and concerns creates stress and can make negative feelings worse. Assertive communication can help you express how you feel in a thoughtful, tactful way.
- Ask for help. People who have a strong network of family and friends manage stress better.
Sometimes stress is just too much to handle alone. Talking to a friend or family member may help, but you may also want to see a counselor.
How Are You Coping With Stress
Your lifestyle choices can prevent your body from recovering from stress. For example, as you sleep, your body recovers from the stresses of the day. If you’re not getting enough sleep or your sleep is often interrupted, you lose the chance to recover from stress.
The way you act and behave can also be a sign of stress. Some people who face a lot of stress react by smoking, drinking too much alcohol, eating poorly, or not exercising. The health risks posed by these habits are made even worse by stress.
Your body feels stress-related wear and tear in two ways: the stress itself and the unhealthy ways you respond to it.
- Use this coping strategies evaluation form to help you find out how you cope with stress.
- Try this Interactive Tool: How Well Do You Bounce Back? It measures your ability to deal with life’s challenges.
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Train Your Brain With Entertaining Games And Activities
Just like any other muscle in your body, your brain needs to be worked out and challenged in order to stay healthy.
Thats why its important to engage in activities that challenge your brain on a regular basis.
There are many different ways you can do this, but some options include:
- Doing crossword puzzles
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation
These therapies can help retrain the brain and improve cognitive function.
If youre struggling with brain fog, consider talking to a therapist about getting a brain scan and trying neuroplasticity-based therapies.
Appetite Changes And Weight Gain
Changes in appetite are common during times of stress.
When you feel stressed out, you may find yourself with no appetite at all or overeating without noticing.
One small 2006 study of 272 female college students found that 81 percent reported that they experienced changes in appetite when they were stressed out, with 62 percent stating they had an increase in appetite .
Changes in appetite may also cause fluctuations in weight during stressful periods. For example, a study involving 1,355 people in the United States found that stress was associated with weight gain in adults already living with extra weight .
A third study from 2017 found that individuals with higher cortisol and insulin levels and higher levels of chronic stress were more likely to gain weight in the future . However, the study was limited in the scope of research in that participants were predominantly white females.
While these studies show an association between stress and changes in appetite or weight, more studies are needed to understand other possible factors are involved and how stress impacts different people.
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How Can You Keep Oily Skin Under Control
Since high cortisol levels kick start the skins oil glands, you might find your face is oilier than usual. If you find yourself looking super shiny, Dr. Shamban suggests using exfoliating pads once a day like the ones from her product line AVA MD. Swipe the pad over a clean face starting once a week and move up to two or three times at night before bed, she says. Theyre made with pure 5% glycolic acid and 2% salicylic acid. These are the best basic ingredients for acne prone skin and they help banish blemishes with regular usage.
For a quick fix, both dermatologists are fans of oil-blotting papers because no matter how many times you gently dab one of these sheets on your face, theyre not going to make breakouts any worse.
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Good Daytime Habits For Relieving Nighttime Stress
In addition to relaxation techniques, there are steps you can take during the day to relieve stress at night. A common aid is to exercise during the day. In addition to other health benefits, daytime exercise has been linked to better sleep in patients with generalized anxiety disorders. Exercise can also assist with issues such as insomnia. Another strategy for sleep hygiene overall is to wake up at a regular time. Even on the weekends, research shows that consistent wake times are an important component of sleep hygiene.
Keep in mind there is no exact schedule for how quickly youll be able to feel less stressed and anxious before going to sleep. However, consistent practice of relaxing techniques can help long-term. If you have questions or concerns about which strategy or strategies are right for you, consult your physician.
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Talk It Out With A Friend
When youre feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle.
Theyre especially important when youre under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
What Causes Mental Stress
Its origin is triggered by a signal from outside stimuli a piece of information of an objective or subjective nature, or both at once. The mental stress develops very slowly at the beginning. We cannot observe its development because of our lack of understanding of mental energy.
The information we receive from the outside , creates a feeling that evolves into a negative emotion . For example, the inability to understand or accept other peoples point of view can cause mental stress.
My Personal Experience with Mental Stress
In my late twenties, I struggled consistently with mental stress. I was happy to work in a global corporation and also excited to be responsible for many projects at once. Despite the work load I had, I was a victim of mobbing because of my keen engagement towards my tasks. I was physically and mentally exhausted because of the many complex purchase orders I had to place for the projects assigned to me. On top of that, there were certain people in the organization giving me hard time because of my desire to strive to improve.
There was an immediate disharmony between me and these people that generated a feeling of intolerance and non-acceptance. This grew into feelings of disappointment and frustration, which ended up creating emotion of anger and anxiety over not performing well or losing my job.
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Effects Of Stress On Depression
Stress can make you feel less able to maintain positive habits or coping strategies, which are important to managing depression. This can make symptoms of depression feel more intense. Interrupting a healthy routine can result in negative coping strategies, such as drinking or withdrawing from social relationships. These actions can result in further stress, which can then make depression symptoms worse.
What Is A Panic Attack
A panic attack is when you feel overwhelmed by the physical and mental feelings of fear the signs listed under What do fear and anxiety feel like? People who have panic attacks say that they find it hard to breathe, and they may worry that theyre having a heart attack or are going to lose control of their body. See the Support and information section at the end of this booklet if you want help with panic attacks.
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