By Siew Ching

Chill, it’s going to be OK…

Going into a big presentation, an important meeting or a one-on-one with a top gun at your company can conjure up a whole lot of nerves and anxiety. Even if you’re a seasoned pro at these big, life-changing events! After all, you want to do your best and when you stress out over whether you can deliver the best, those nerves are going to give you a bout of self-doubt and a lot of pre-event stress.

It's tough to maintain calmness, cool, and confidence – especially when your nerves are making your palms sweat, sending butterflies swimming in your stomach. How do people make it look so easy?

Here’s how.

#1 Positive affirmations
You may think all those positivity in words is a bunch of mumbo jumbo but believe us when we say they work! Studies have shown that positive thinking can increase the chances of doing well and in the case of facing a big event, it makes you feel prepared to take on the world. Want to go beyond just thinking positive? Get in front of a mirror and tell yourself all that positivity you got going in your mind. Try phrases like “You got this”, or “You’re prepared so hard and long for this now it’s time to show you can do this” or whatever else feels right to you! Feel weird to be talking to yourself? Write it down on a piece of paper and pin it where you can see it leading up to the big event that is making you nervous.

#2 Clean something
Maybe it’s your office desk or the mini library you have at home, but studies show that the art of cleaning can help you release a lot of stress and bring a sense of calmness to your mind. Exactly what you need before the big event! It’s like the old adage: Tidy house, tidy mind. If clutter makes you feel anxious, there is a reason why – all that mess can wreck your mental health, which isn’t what you want before a big event. Put aside 30 minutes a day in the week leading up to your event to tidy up. You’ll feel productive engaging in this calming exercise and that feeling of efficiency and being organised will help you feel more ready to take on the world.

#3 Visualise the outcome you want
Don’t doubt the power of visualisation! This is an important piece of advice we’ve heard time and time again – visualise the outcome you want. How this works is that it offers you a glimpse of what to expect and how you plan to overcome whatever anxiety to get to the end result you want. Come the real day, you’ll feel as if you’ve completely rehearsed it in your mind!

#4 Unwind, sleep well the night before
It sounds simple but it’s exactly what the doctor ordered. When you are prepping for a big event – be it a presentation or a work opportunity – you need to clear your mind of the anxiety and stress building up. The best way to do this is through sufficient sleep, nothing less than seven hours of sleep. Taking adequate time to rest is highly recommended to perform optimally. You don’t want last night’s tossing and turning to show off how tired you are, not to mention steal the focus you need for the day!

#5 Reward yourself!
This is when all is done and dusted. Regardless of the outcome, give yourself a reward for the effort – dessert at lunch, a mini shopping treat, or some much-needed me time with your favourite hobby. This is a great stress reliever and if it is something you can do for every big event, you’re associating something positive with something that’s scary, making it easier to look forward to your next big event!

Share with us your tips on how you prepare yourself for your big event @Graduan!

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash.

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