Picture the scene ( a scene that many of you will be able to relate to). It is almost time for you to stand up to deliver your presentation…..your heart is beating fast, your palms are all clammy, you feel yourself going red, your mouth is completely dry and you are hardly breathing. The last place you want to be is where you are but there is no escape. All eyes are on you, the room is silent as everyone awaits your speech.
For some of you, reading this might make you feel a little queasy or take you back to a time when you experienced a similar situation.
The ‘Fight or Flight’ response is an incredibly powerful one. It has the ability to limit any creative thinking (or any thinking at all!). It leaves us indecisive, unsure, anxious and your brain feels like mush!
There is a way to control all of these feelings and it is as simple as BREATHING!
Controlling your breath will also mean you stop the shaky or heavy breathing, or even the shallow breathing where you find yourself gasping for air.
Stand or sit with good posture- straight back, shoulders down and back, feet slightly apart and feeling confident. Now focus on taking the air down into your lower lungs (we often forget that we have such a large capacity in which to breath). Image filling a balloon that is in your stomach, and as you do your tummy will inflate and push out. You may even feel your ribs floating out and upwards. Take a breath in for 4, hold for 8 and out for 4. Do this a few times, building the numbers. For example breath in for 6, hold for 12, out for 6 and so on.
Notice how this makes you feel- relaxed I hope! By turning your attention to just your breath, you have no room for any other thoughts to filter through.
Take some deep breaths while you are waiting to speak…..just notice how different you feel.