Quick Anxiety Management Tips

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As the New Year begins, I thought I would share some quick tips from recent research that might help reduce anxiety that results from presenting in public.

Sweet Dreams. Research from Rutgers University showed that subjects who spent more time in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep — it is during REM sleep that dreams take place — reduced their sensitivity to fearful stimuli such as taking a test or giving a speech.

As the New Year begins, I thought I would share some quick tips from recent research that might help reduce anxiety that results from presenting in public.

Sweet Dreams. Research from Rutgers University showed that subjects who spent more time in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep — it is during REM sleep that dreams take place — reduced their sensitivity to fearful stimuli such as taking a test or giving a speech.

Suggestion: Get a good night’s sleep before presenting. You can increase the chances of normal REM sleep by avoiding alcohol and sleeping medications.

Sing Your Heart Out. Research from the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School found that singing in a choir can reduce anxiety, increase feelings of well-being, and help people feel connected…regardless of singing ability.

Suggestion: Reduce your overall anxiety levels by singing outside the shower and beyond your car by singing with others in a choir.

Think Hard. Researchers at Duke University have found that if you engage the executive functioning part of your brain, which directs planning and attention, you may reduce the likelihood of developing anxiety.

Suggestion: Spend time doing cognitively complex tasks, such as reflecting on your audience’s needs or designing slides once you’ve created a thorough outline; this may prevent or reduce becoming anxious about the presentation you are set to deliver.

Blue Light Special. Research recently published from the University of Granada, Spain suggests that spending time in a blue-lit room (as opposed to typical white light) speeds up the normal relaxation response that follows stressful situations.

Suggestion: Invest in some blue light bulbs. Spend time relaxing in the blue light to feel calmer faster.