Deadlines, situations of uncertainty, pressure from bosses and clients, tension, stress – all this pressures and seriously worsens our results. But emergency techniques for dealing with tension will allow us to get the most out of every situation.
The famous psychologist Hendry Weisinger conducted a decade-long study that proved that psychological tension negatively affects performance. In his book “How to Perform Under Pressure”, he described 22 emergency techniques for coping with tension and pressure, and he also developed a “knight’s shield” of several important qualities.
We suggest that you familiarize yourself with the five techniques and start applying them now.
Technique No. 1: Use positive navigation
Everyone knows that it’s important to set yourself up for good, but few people use this recommendation every day. Try to keep a positive attitude before and during a stressful situation. Tune your inner compass to the positive. Worry will go away on its own.
To do this, speak in a positive way. Don’t use phrases like: “If I can get this position…”, “If we get this client…”. Instead, say: “When I get this position, then…”, “After we get this client, then…”. Get into the habit of expressing yourself this way. This technique comes in handy even if you haven’t prepared for a stressful event.
The benefits of positive navigation can be traced back to evolution. Of our prehistoric ancestors, only those who could experience a minimum of anxiety in solving problems survived.
For some reason I was reminded of an anecdote that fits this technique perfectly:
– Captain, what do we do? We are surrounded!
– Good. Now we can attack from all sides.
Yes, in wartime panic can cost lives. No wonder that people with a positive mindset survived more often and passed on their genes to their descendants. Even today, this way of thinking has become an important factor in success.
Technique No. 2: Imagine that the situation is not so important
There is a psychological law: the more importance we attach to a situation, the more nervous we are, and we often screw things up. It is human nature. A worry greatly affects our behavior. We don’t perform even basic actions well.
Imagine this: a surgeon performing open-heart surgery couldn’t handle his anxiety because his patient was the mayor of the city. And… killed him. The operation ended badly because the doctor couldn’t do his usual stuff well. Horrible situation, isn’t it?
Of course, it’s a fictional example, but in every field there are similar situations in which our inability to control ourselves leads to disaster. So it’s worth taking the opposite approach.
If an upcoming presentation (meeting, talk, exam, game, etc.) is very important to you, you’d better imagine it isn’t. Just say to yourself, “It’s just another presentation”. And you’ll see the wave of anxiety recede.
Technique No. 3: Expect anything
On the eve of an important day, imagine the most unexpected developments. Suppose tomorrow you present a project you’ve been working on for a year. What could go wrong and how will you act?
Let’s dream about it. Ask yourself any, even the most seemingly unbelievable questions:
- “What if I get five minutes instead of half an hour for my speech?”;
- “What if I forget my presentation flash drive?”;
- “What if my laptop or projector breaks down?”;
- “What if there’s terrible traffic in town in the morning?”.
This is useful in that it prepares you for the real situation.
The fact is, most of us react painfully to unexpected events. This is evident in sporting events. “He simply lost his temper and couldn’t cope”, fans say of the player who can’t come to his senses after a bad goal early in the match and breaks the whole game.
To prevent this from happening to you, just have a mental rehearsal. Don’t forget that preparation without a plan is preparation for failure.
Technique No. 4: Try to love the tension
The easiest thing you can do is make friends with the state of tension. Just think: you have a chance to reach unprecedented heights. It’s a blessing that destiny is challenging you. In this situation you can show the world who you are, you can show your talents!
Weisinger recommends thinking of tension as something pleasant and good:
What is tension to you? Is it fear and anxiety or pleasure and intrigue? Do you agree that these are different things? As you know, it’s not the situation itself that matters, but how we feel about it. You have the power to change that.
Try to remember more often that psychological tension is healthy. Think about it, visualize it, and repeat it to yourself often.
If you remember to do this regularly, you’ll be immune to immediate subconscious reactions. Your subconscious mind will be ready for any stress. And when things are about to happen, repeat it like a mantra for a stronger effect.
Technique No. 5: Focus on your mission
Everything you do is subordinate to some goal or long-held dream.
The people who work 12 hours a day don’t do it because they love staying late at the office. They want to earn money to buy their own house, provide their parents with a comfortable old age, and give their children a best education.
Tense situations are the perfect time to remember what you started it all for.
The clearer your main goal in life is, the easier it is to cope with the psychological pressure. Also, when you are focused on your mission, distracting thoughts and outside influences will be less of a hindrance. You can’t think about everything at the same time.
That’s it, my friends. Master these techniques and you’ll be able to get rid of your anxiety attacks the moment you need to perform your best. You’ll learn how to reduce anxiety and worry, be more focused, and better manage your behavior.