If you are getting ready to be interviewed for the ski resort job of your dreams and you are feeling a little anxious, who could blame you? Job interviews are the typical situation that ‘put you on the spot’, with interviewees expecting you to be your best, most dynamic self on the day they meet you. Normal jitters can normally be calmed with a bit of practice leading up to the big day, but what if you suffer from anxiety disorder? In its most extreme cases, anxiety can lead to panic attacks – moments in which you can barely breathe, your heart races, you feel like you are about to faint, or you begin fearing that you are having a heart attack… There are many more people who suffer from anxiety than you think – in fact, anxiety and depression are the two most common mental conditions on a global scale. For some sufferers, the situation can be so grim that they fear leaving their homes, lest a panic attack should set in. Of course, this is far from good news if you are planning on starting work at a ski resort far from where you live. Follow these tips and try to stave off anxiety the natural way:
Remind Yourself: Anxiety is a Trick!
Panic attacks set in when we are faced with a stressful situation and our ‘fight or flight response’ sets in… our cortisol (stress hormone) levels rise, we begin breathing in quickly and flooding our system with too much oxygen, our heart rate rises, and sometimes, we begin to hyperventilate. When you are under the throes of an attack, it can seem like you are powerless but remember: anxiety is just a trick; it is your body’s way of fooling you into thinking you are facing a real situation of danger – it is this type of situation that the body and mind attempt to protect us from, by invoking our fight or flight response. Remember that with anxiety, this response is serving no purpose at all, since you are not actually in imminent danger at all! Ultimately, what you need to do is lower your oxygen levels by breathing in some CO2 (i.e. breathing into a paper bag; ride through the difficult moments; in a few minutes you should feel much better).
Think of the Worst Thing that Could Happen
Instead of letting worrisome thoughts flood through your brain, think of the very worst thing that could happen – in this case, you could have a panic attack before or during the interview. Does it really matter in the scheme of things? In the worst case scenario, could you not request another interview or wait a little and apply again (to the same resort or another one) when you are ready? Remember, you are not the only one with anxiety – millions of people throughout the world are battling this disorder and anxiety is usually temporary – once you beat it and reduce it to the trick it really is, it will stop interfering with your career, health and happiness. It is helpful to recall the words of author, Chris Guillebeau, who says, “The worst thing that could happen rarely does,” or of psychologist and best-selling author, Harriet Lerner, who reminds us, “You want to feel comfortable so you avoid doing or saying the thing that will evoke fear and other difficult emotions. Avoidance will make you feel less vulnerable in the short run but, it will never make you less afraid.”
Try Beating Anxiety Naturally but Seek Help if You Cannot
Most people who have suffered from anxiety in their lifetime will tell you that the very best way to stop anxiety, is through controlled breathing. Check out the plethora of free breathing apps on your smartphone or tablet. Some people perform these exercises (lasting 10 to 15 minutes a day) while driving to work or riding the bus or train.
Secondly, try signing up for an holistic activity like yoga, mindful meditation or Tai Chi – all these activities have been found to significantly lower stress levels.
Time spent in Nature is also vital for those who are anxious – Nature is a natural stress buster, yet sadly, most of us spend little to no time enjoying the great outdoors every day.
Finally, if these methods don’t work for you, see a specialist. They will guide you through different therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), which emphasizes the inexorable link between how we think, feel, and act – change just one of these three things and see how the other two follow!