6 Strategies to avoid choking under pressure

For choking under pressure, the simple explanation can be boiled down to the fact that the prefrontal cortex which is the very front part of the brain that sits over your eyes, stops working the way it should. As a result, that power that is demanded for thinking and reasoning tasks becomes less and it messes up with the brain resources. At times under pressure, you feel numb and become powerless to do anything. You feel completely choked and your performance becomes disrupted.

According to experts, there are a few strategies that can help you avoid choking under pressure and ensure success even under stress:

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Remember your strengths:

When you feel completely stuck because of the pressure, remind yourself of the strengths that you have. Take a few minutes to write down about your strengths and interest, it will promote feelings of self-worth which will give you confidence and will improve your performance.

Write about your worries:

Experts also suggest that writing for about ten minutes about the things that worry you wither they are your fears about your upcoming presentation or any kind of performance. Once you transfer your worries on a piece of paper, the pressure from your brain will no doubt be shifted and will help you improve your working memory.

Breathe slowly:

It is natural to breathe heavily when you are under pressure but that depletes your capacity even further. So, take control of your breathing and inhale and exhale slowly. It will help you to relax and your stress will start to decrease.

Walk away:

When you feel yourself stuck with a challenging issue, walk away for a few minutes. The pause that you will take will help your brain to switch channels and find better alternatives for solving your problem.

Replicate the exact stress:

It is very important to practice staying calm by replicating the situation that frightens you. Although, it is not possible to create the same situation but practicing under mild levels of stress can actually prevent you from choking in the real tensed situation. Try to do practice without your notes and you will feel much better afterwards.

Memorize the roadmap:

When you feel under pressure, focus on the main points rather than remembering every detail. Write few main points under each big headline and point out only the specific details. By using mnemonic phrases and acronyms, you can take the burden off your working memory.

In life, everyone faces some of the crucial situations that seem really challenging at that time. But no matter what kind of event you are faced with, these strategies will help you to succeed when the pressure is high and will save you from choking.

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Written by Hisham Sarwar


That is all you ever need to know about me but let me warn you, freelancing for me is a journey, certainly not a destination :)