Anxiety is a common problem that many people face in their everyday lives. For some, anxiety can be especially prevalent in work meetings. This can be due to a number of factors, such as the fear of public speaking or the pressure to produce results.
If you are struggling with anxiety in work meetings, don’t worry – you are not alone! In this article, we will provide 7 tips for coping with anxiety during work meetings.
#1 – Practice
If you are required to present during meetings, or simply wish to improve your skills at speaking to a group, there is no substitute for regular practice.
The more you do it, the easier it will become. You can start by practicing in front of a mirror, or even recording yourself on your phone.
You can also make a point of telling a story in front of friends or asking a question of every guest at the next gathering you attend.
View every social encounter as a chance to practice and become better at communicating.
#2 – Reframe Meeting Stress
If you tend to get anxious before work meetings, it can be helpful to try and reframe that stress as excitement.
Anxiety is often caused by thinking about the worst possible outcome of a situation.
Try to focus instead on the positive outcomes of the meeting, such as impressing your boss or colleagues, or getting the chance to showcase your skills.
By thinking about the meeting in a more positive light, you can help reduce your anxiety levels.
It may also be helpful to remind yourself that most people are not as critical of others as they are of themselves.
Chances are, even if you make a mistake, no one will notice or care as much as you think they will.
#3 – Arrive Early
If possible, arrive early to the meeting so you have time to settle in and get comfortable.
This will help you feel more relaxed and less anxious about being late or rushed.
It’s also a good opportunity to chat with colleagues before the meeting starts, which can help take your mind off of any nervousness you may be feeling.
If you can’t arrive early, try to at least be on time.
Showing up late to a meeting can add to your anxiety and make it harder to focus on the task at hand.
Walking into a room full of people who are already seated and engaged in conversation can be daunting, so do your best to avoid being the last one to arrive.
#4 – Manage Avoidance Behaviors
It’s natural to want to avoid things that make us anxious.
But avoiding work meetings (or any situation that makes you anxious) can actually perpetuate your anxiety and make it worse over time.
Try to manage your avoidance behaviors by slowly exposing yourself to the situations you fear.
Start with small steps, like attending a meeting but sitting in the back of the room, and work your way up to participating in the discussion.
By facing your fears, you’ll eventually learn that they’re not as bad as you thought they were and that you can cope with them.
#5 – Know Your Strengths
Anxiety can make you feel like you’re not good enough or that you can’t do anything right.
But everyone has strengths and skills that they can bring to the table, even if they don’t feel confident in them at the moment.
Think about what you have to offer and try to focus on that instead of your anxiety.
You can also use your strengths to help you cope with anxiety in work meetings.
For example, if you’re a good listener, try to focus on listening to others and contributing to the discussion when you can.
If you’re good at problem-solving, see if you can offer solutions to any issues that come up.
Using your strengths can help you feel more confident and less anxious in work meetings.
#6 – Prepare Ahead of Time
One of the best ways to cope with anxiety in work meetings is to prepare ahead of time.
This can mean preparing mentally and emotionally for the meeting, as well as physically preparing for it.
Mentally and emotionally, you can prepare by thinking about your goals for the meeting and what you hope to accomplish.
You can also take some time to calm yourself before the meeting, using relaxation techniques like deep breathing or visualization.
Physically, you can prepare by making sure you have everything you need for the meeting, such as any materials or documents you need to reference.
Preparation can help reduce your anxiety because it gives you a sense of control over the situation.
#7 – Use Visuals
Some people find it helpful to use visuals when coping with anxiety in work meetings.
This could mean taking notes or drawing pictures to help you process information and stay focused on the discussion.
Or, if you tend to get anxious about speaking in front of groups, you might want to bring a cue card with key points written on it to refer to during the meeting.
Visuals can be a helpful way to ground yourself and reduce anxiety in work meetings.
Managing anxiety in work meetings can be a challenge, but it’s important not to let your fear or discomfort control you. These seven tips should help you feel more comfortable and confident when attending or speaking in work meetings. What have been your go-to techniques for managing anxiety in these situations?