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Academic Search Engine Knobull Offers Tools That Help Reduce Performance Anxiety
By: Knobull Inc.
We recommend techniques that can help students and professionals with anxiety around things like taking tests, present project results or going to a job interview."
First, pick a word that evokes calmness and relaxation for you. An example is the word "settle". Experiment subjects used the word "calm or one". You can use the phrase "just this," which is frequently used for meditation.
One of the easiest and most effective relaxation techniques is to control and slow your breathing! The basic idea is to breathe in for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and then breathe out for a count of eight. Repeat for a total of four times.
If that seems too complicated, there's a simpler version called box breathing where you inhale for a count of four, hold your breath for four, exhale for four, and then hold your breath again (with your lungs empty) for four. Whatever breath technique you use, repeat your cue word, either out loud or inside your head, every time you breathe out.
Once you've practiced your relaxation technique along with your word for a while and you feel confident that you can make yourself relax this way, it's time to start shortening your relaxation sessions. Begin by making your sessions one minute shorter than they were before.
Keep whittling it down in this way until you're down to a single minute, still saying your word. Then keep going till you've got it down to a single word paired with a single breath. By the end of the process, simply repeating your word, either out loud or to yourself, should be enough to reduce your anxiety.
Other tools such as meditation, journaling, and long walks can be effective ways to calm anxious thoughts and keep stress at bay. But saying, or thinking, a single word is something you can do anytime, anywhere, and it only takes a few seconds.
Bentley concluded, "This seems well worth giving it a try. The Knobull Messageboard or Academic Search Engine are excellent resources to get input on other ideas or conduct your own research."
Many of these ideas come from an article in Inc. based on insights from Marina Harris, Ph.D., a sports psychologist at North Carolina State University and a former competitive gymnast who retired from the sport due to an injury.