EYN#028 - 3 Ways To Chill The Heck Out And Manage Your Nerves

Apr 09, 2024
Soliders leaving a plane on a mission

Read Time: 3 mins

I often work with people who are preparing for important meetings. Maybe customer meetings, presentations, job interviews - situations where they need to perform under pressure.

One of the biggest challenges I see is controlling your mental state. You need to be able to think clearly, perform under pressure and bring to life the things you've prepared.

You've done all the prep, now you need to execute.

These 3 approaches help you calm down, manage your mental state and perform to your highest ability.


Box Breathing

This technique is used by military special forces, musicians and actors to name but a few. By slowing and regulating your breathing you are able to lower your heart rate, manage your mental state and raise your performance.

The technique is pretty simple.

  • Breath in for 4
  • Hold your breath for 4
  • Breath out for 4
  • Hold for breath for 4
  • Repeat whilst you calm down and recentre


Using this simple technique can help reduce stress, reduce anxiety, positively affect your emotions and increase your focus. It helps you chill the heck out and I use it all the time.

The more your practice this, the better you get at it and the quicker you'll be able to calm down and focus.

Positive Visualisation

Another approach is to imagine the specific details of the thing you're about to do. I use this approach regularly. Let's use an example: delivering a presentation.

Imagine your introduction. Visualise what you’ll do you. How will you get to position where you’ll present,
where will you stand or sit.

Now run through your beginning section – and visual what you will actually say.
your Introduction
Your hook
Your Key Benefits
Your Key messages

Run this through in your brain a number of times.

Giving your brain an active task, calms you down and replaces the negative inner monologue with a positive, practical set of thoughts.


Visualise Happy Place

Sometimes imagining the very thing that is freaking you out doesn't help you reduce your freak out. Sometimes pure escapism is just what you need. This is a favourite approach of my wife.

Calm yourself down using the Box Breathing technique. Close your eyes then:

Visualise the most wonderful day, and wonderful place.
Visualise what it’s like there.
What are you doing?
Who are you with?
What does it feel like?
What does it sound like?
What does smell like?

Marinade in the those wonderful imaginings.

Once you've managed the freak out, you might be able to replace the happy place visualisation with a positive visualisation of what you're going to actually do.


Managing your mental state under pressure is such an important skill and I've seen these 3 approaches really help people manage their mindset and raise their performance level.

Hope this helps