3. Fix what you’re thinking
When you’re getting ready for a job interview, that running commentary in your mind can definitely up your anxiety level. Are you thinking, “I’d better not make a mistake,” or “I must make a perfect first impression?” Those kinds of internal instructions are hard to live up to and won’t do a thing to keep you calm.
The trick is to become aware of those messages and then challenge them, says Wiser. “Are those thoughts realistic? What’s the worst thing that could happen, and why would this be so terrible? Even if I go out on this first date and the person never wants to see me again, is that the end of my life?” Use a pen and paper if that helps you identify your inner thoughts and examine them realistically.
Another strategy: Imagine yourself handling the social situation well. Don’t picture it being perfect, since that’ll only increase the pressure. But just as a professional athlete might do a mental rehearsal of an upcoming race, try visualizing things going smoothly at the meeting you’re going to be chairing.