I had something interesting happen to me yesterday. I took a workshop to practice speaking on camera. Something required by virtue of my current job. Now, I consider myself something of a reasonably well-controlled individual who can compose and control himself at the best or worst of times. But there’s something about dealing with the media and being questioned on camera that causes me a great deal of stress and anxiety, more than I care to admit. So it came as a surprise to most people in my inner circle when I revealed I was taking media training.
The workshop included a short lecture on media and press interviews in general, followed by some short videos that illustrated what NOT to do while being interviewed. It was valuable information and I learned a lot. The workshop concluded by having all of the participants provide a brief, five-minute on-camera interview. I watched a number of people go before me and learned a great deal about that, as well. When it came time for me to go up and provide my interview, I was reasonably surprised by how stressed I was over it. Considering it was only for a small group of my work associates and not the actual press, I’d hate to see how I would have actually done on air.
Anyway, I leaned on my training and allowed myself to control my breathing and slip into a meditative state, something I hadn’t actively done in years. Most people believe that meditation has to involve sitting cross-legged on the floor with your eyes closed, breathing deeply and doing nothing else. The reality is that meditation is something one can do while in motion, while performing other actions or on the fly. With practice, one can learn to be in a meditative state throughout one’s day. It’s actually SUPER handy, allowing you to reduce stress, fatigue and clearing the mind. It’s also SUPER handy at taking you out of the stressful moment and find peace.
I gave my interview with a level of cool-headedness and calm that shocked and impressed the others around me. I barely realized the interview was over until the facilitator told me it was. I was pleased at how calm I was and how I had used skills I trained for decades to de-escalate my stress. But this is where the “something interesting” kicked in. My blood sugars bottomed out. Badly. It made me recognize how deep a physical effect meditation can actually have on a body. It kind of struck me out of the blue. But it worked. Meditation works. It’s unfortunate it took something actually stressful to make me remember that… ☯️