1. Power Pose! Amy Cuddy is a Harvard Professor who has done research on how power posing can help one feel more confident. After doing a trial study, she found that doing a power pose for at least two minutes increases your testosterone level and decreases your cortisol level, which is the stress hormone. Mock job interviews were conducted with candidates who did power poses for two minutes prior to their interviews and those who did no power posing at all. The candidates who were consistently selected after the interviews were the ones who had done power poses before they entered the room. Those candidates acted more confident and were willing to take more risks with the extra testosterone. Power posing before you go to an event or even slipping into a bathroom stall to power pose there, can help alleviate anxiety. Visit this link to see the video on the research. https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-cl=84838260&x-yt-ts=1422327029&v=phcDQ0H_LnY
2. Set goals for the event. Let’s say you are attending a party and you are not obligated to stay for the entire time. Tell yourself, I’ll go for 30 minutes to 1 hour. While you are there, set a goal to introduce yourself to at least 1-2 people you don’t know. It can be as simple as saying, “Hello. I haven’t met you yet. My name is Heather. What is your name?” Ask the people you introduce yourself to about their jobs, families, or interests. Make the goal realistic but also slightly uncomfortable for you to get out of your comfort zone. The more you take smaller risks, the more you can overcome anxiety. If you have to stay longer than an hour, take a bathroom break to regroup. Then go back into the room and set another small goal for the next 30 minutes to 1 hour. Smile! The more you smile, the more approachable you will be to others. Fake it until you make it!
3. Do a mindfulness exercise. Mindfulness exercises allow you to get focused on being 100% in the present moment. If you worry, you are thinking about the future. If you feel a lot of guilt, your mind is in the past. Focus your mind on being in the present moment to help neutralize those thoughts and feelings. A mindfulness exercise you can do before you attend the event is to start describing what you see around you while you are driving in your car. Once you arrive at the social event, start describing in your mind the appearance of the room, such as the furniture and the colors that are used to decorate the room. Take some deep breaths.
4. Show up on time. I know that might sound weird to arrive at a party when it starts. But guess what? If not everyone has arrived yet, the less people there are can make it easier for you to introduce yourself to someone new. If you offer to help the host or hostess with anything, often they can put you to work. Remember to thank the host at the end of the party.
Thanks for reading and please pass it on. I would also love to hear what has worked for you?
Heather Severn Callister, LMFT & Coach