Techniques for Dealing with an Anxiety Provoking Situation

Have you ever frozen under pressure? Would you like to be more confident? Do you wish you could perform better in front of people? Have you ever suffered from anxiety due to sports? These are many questions individuals face everyday in work, school, with friends, and when competing athletically. Here are a few tips and techniques that may help you the next time you are facing a stressfulanxiety provoking situation.

Anxiety Reduction

Extinction: Used to reduce or eliminate conditioned fear by repeatedly presenting an eliciting (draw out) cue without the threatening event. (facing fear in a comfortable environment)

Relaxation Training: Training that teaches a person to trigger a series of physiological reactions that signal relaxation.

  • Progressive Relaxation: A procedure in which a person learns to tense and then relax selected muscle groups in order to evoke a relaxation response.
  • Systematic Desensitization: A variant of counter-conditioning which the therapist systematically pairs anxiety-arousing events with relaxation or some other conflicting behavior.

Reinforced Practice: An operant technique that rewards a person for overcoming anxiety by approaching the anxiety-producing stimulus step-by-step.

Biofeedback Training: An operant technique that uses reward outcomes (feedback) to control autonomic responses such as heart rate and muscle tension.

Cognitive Learning

Imagery: Mental representation of a non-present object or event. (picture your success)

Visuomotor Behavioral Rehearsal: A mental preparation strategy in which the athlete utilizes relaxation training, imagery, and skill practice in a simulated environment. (simulate the environment and then practice the task)

Stress Inoculation Training: An anxiety reduction technique in which causes and dynamics of anxiety are delineated (outlined), followed by practice of appropriate coping behavior. (An appropriate coping strategy for dealing with the negative emotional fallout that comes with anxiety)

Cognitive Control: Maintaining control of one’s thoughts in order to keep a positive, confident perspective and avoid negative self-talk.

  • Thought Stoppage: A cognitive control technique in which negative thoughts are eliminated through the use of mental or physical triggers. (snapping a rubber band against your wrist)
  • Countering: a cognitive control technique that uses an internal dialogue filled with facts and reasons to refuse negative thinking. (self positive reassurance)
  • Reframing: A cognitive control technique in which the athlete/individual takes negative thoughts and reframes them as positive.

Hypnosis: An altered state of consciousness characterized by increased receptiveness to suggestion

Yoga, Zen, and Transcendental Meditation: Relax by excluding distracting images from consciousness

Psych-Up Strategies: A strategy intended to create a state of energy and mental readiness that gives a competitor a psychological advantage.

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Comments 4 comments

Seakay profile image

Seakay 6 years ago from Florida

OK... I'm returning to school after a relaxing, enojoyable sabbatical. I am a teacher. Any thoughts on how to prepare myself for the beginning of school? Perhaps a couple strategies for stress reduction? The stress is already starting just thinking about it!


B Stucki profile image

B Stucki 6 years ago Author

Thanks for the comment! Some of these techniques will certainly help, if it is the anxiety of being in front of the class. Here are some others: Are you fully prepared? If not create a list and a plan to get prepared. Studies show by simply checking things off a list endorphins are released. Breathing exercises are also good. These are easy enough to find online. Don’t worry about taking a break either. Sit down for a few minutes and take a load off.


Aris Budianto profile image

Aris Budianto 6 years ago from Lying along the equator Country

Relaxation is really help, thanks


B Stucki profile image

B Stucki 6 years ago Author

You're welcome! Thanks for the comment!

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    Reference

    LeUnes, A., & Nation, J. (2002). Sport psychology. Pacific Grove: Wadsworth Group.

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