Stress Management Workshop: Week Three

Anticipatory Stress

What is Anticipatory Stress?

  • Anticipatory stress describes the stress that you experience concerning the future.
  • Sometimes this stress can be focused on a specific event, such as an upcoming presentation that you’re going to give.
  • It can also be vague and undefined, such as an overall sense of dread about the future or worry that “something will go wrong”.

Coping skills to manage anticipatory stress

KEY POINT: Because this stress is future-based, start by recognizing that the event you’re dreading doesn't have to play out the way you imagine.

Technique 1: Address personal fears

​​​​​Anticipatory stress can be caused by a lack of confidence, which can create fears like fear of failure.

  • Example: You might be stressing over a presentation that you're supposed to give next week because you're afraid that your presentation won't be interesting.

By addressing personal fears directly, the stress will diminish.

  • Example: If you put in extra time to practice and prepare for tough questions, you'll likely feel more prepared for the event.

Learn how to overcome a fear of failure: If you make contingency plans and analyze possible outcomes, you can get a clearer idea of what could happen in the future. This helps reduce your fear of failure and give you a greater sense of control over events.

Technique 2: Meditate to focus on the here and now

This helps to focus and concentrate on what is happening right now instead of focusing on an imagined future.

10-Minute Guided Box Breathing Meditation

Technique 3: Use positive visualization

Imagine what will happen if the situation has a good result.

More details = more real. More real = more neural connections that encourage the brain to problem-solve ways to make it happen.

Technique 4: Practice relaxation

​​​​​​Bring awareness to your body and work to intentionally relax.

When your body is relaxed, your mind can follow suit!

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Technique 5: RAAA Method

  • Recognize
  • Analyze
  • Assess
  • Action

Week Three

Prevention Tip:

Using skills learned this week to not only manage stress when it’s happening but also prevent stress from coming up. Practice these techniques on a consistent basis

Page last modified June 9, 2022