“Nerves and butterflies are fine — they’re a physical sign that you’re mentally ready and eager. You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that’s the trick.” – Steve Bull
Job interviews, if your nerves are getting the best of you this blog post is for you. If you know someone who is smart, articulate, and confident … except while sitting in front of a future employer, do them a solid and share this with them.
“The best advice I can give to anyone going through a rough patch is to never be afraid to ask for help.” – Demi Lovato, Stay Strong
Step 1 – Seek Support
Consider the degree of your nervousness when it comes to performing well during job interviews and other “high stakes” work-related situations. If it is severe, then help from a clinical psychologist who can develop strategies to help you with your self-esteem, and anxiety might be the answer. However, to find a clinical psychologist without a long wait list and is also affordable may be a challenge.
For some people, another viable option is to turn to naturopathic doctors like Vivienne Guy, ND at Sunrise Wellness Centre. She offers treatments such as acupuncture or holistic supplements to help manage stress-related hormones. Both clinical psychology and naturopathic medicine are effective for dealing with work-related anxiety.
Step 2 – Evaluate Your Lead-time and Prepare Accordingly
Often, anxiety rears its ugly head when we feel unprepared – such as facing the unknown in an important job interview. And, frankly, who wouldn’t worry a little while imagining this scenario:
- Will the interviewer be reasonable and friendly?
- Will they like me?
- What will they ask me and how will I respond?
- What if I choke on my words?
With this kind of apprehension, it’s difficult to put your best foot forward let alone win the actual position. However, studies have shown that time management and preparation are key when dealing with anxiety.
One clear advantage of working with a naturopathic doctor is that their interventions can be very fast-acting. When you have a week’s notice for an important work event, acupuncture and/or practice (rehearsal) is psychologically beneficial when trying to soothe your nerves.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates
Step 3 – Take Some Time to Assess Your Diet
In addition to noting how severe your work anxiety is and managing your time effectively, another important approach is examining your diet. It is possible that some beverages and foods could affect your performance and overall mood.
Caffeine can be great for revving up your body after a sleepless night, but it can also make your body mimic some symptoms of anxiety. These include noticeable sweating, shakiness, and upset stomach. Obviously, none of these symptoms has a desirable effect during a high stakes event such as meeting a potential new boss.
First and foremost get in tune with your body and how it responds to what you put in your mouth. Maybe you notice the espresso you just downed left your tummy gurgling and palms sweating? Instead of coffee on the day of your interview (and possibly also on the days leading up to the interview) try green tea instead.
This is also true of alcohol. Many enjoy loosening a tie or taking those heels off after work with a glass of wine. Often that drink can turn into two or three when a person is stressed or anxious. Even one drink can disturb concentration and sleep, so perhaps consider substituting it with a warm, relaxing bath or meditation instead.
Work-related anxiety is everywhere. Unfortunately, a lot of us suffer in silence. Even the mildest approach to change can alter or decrease your worry and excessive stress. It can change your odds of a successful interview.
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