Tips to Reduce Stress and Build Confidence for a Job Interview

Tip for building confidence and reducing anxiety for a job interview.
When you get upset or nervous or just plain stressed out during your job search notice your breathing. Right now look at your watch, you cell phone or clock and begin to count the number of times you breath in and out in a minute.You may notice that even at rest your nervous breathing is faster than the "average" rate of 12 to 14 times a minute (a rate which is already faster than it needs to be). In fact, many of us, without knowing it, habitually "hyperventilate"--that is, we take quick, shallow breaths from the top of our chest. This kind of breathing sharply reduces the level of carbon dioxide in our blood. This reduced level of carbon dioxide causes the arteries, including the carotid artery going to the brain, to constrict, thus reducing the flow of blood throughout the body. When this occurs, no matter how much oxygen you may breathe into your lungs, your brain and body will experience a shortage of oxygen. The lack of oxygen switches on the sympathetic nervous system--our "freeze, fight or flight reflex"—The that reflex enabled our ancestors to freeze so we wouldn't be seen or flee from a saber tooth tiger but now it is just making you tense, anxious, and irritable. When you take quick shallow breaths you reduce our ability to think clearly. During a job interview it may keep you from answering questions quickly and succinctly, and you can beat the mercy of obsessive thoughts and images. You may start thinking, Oh my gosh I am going to mess up." "Oh my gosh I am a failure." "I bet he thinks I am stupid." We may even stop breathing as we get to end of each obsessive thought. Some researchers believe that hyperventilation can actually magnify our psychological problems and conflicts, and that chronic hyperventilation is intimately bound up with our anxieties, apprehensions, and fears. One key to feeling clear headed, energized and confident,is to breath deeply, from low down in your belly. You can practice breathing more slowly using your diaphragm, belly, rib cage, and lower back in the breathing process. I have been reading and practicing tantric breathing to be more awake to how I breath and really get inside my body and increase my power. It is amazing how strong and powerful I feel when I take deep belly breaths making a lot of noise as the air fills me up and and let out that breath fully and completely in deep releasing sighs. Of course your not going to be doing tantric breathing during your interview, but it could help calm you and clear your energy the night before or in the car before you go into your interview. Try it right now. Take four deep belly breaths in on a count of four holding for a count of two and making lots noise as you sigh deeply out all your breath. Now say. I feel wonderful. How does your voice sound? More powerful? More Alive? (link to voice articles) See The Tao of Natural Breathing for more information.
Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional
The Body Language Expert
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