Phone anxiety, also known as telephonophobia, can be debilitating. It causes people to avoid phone calls or get sick when the phone rings.

Phone conversations are often the most challenging form of work communication. Here are a few useful tips to make them less daunting:

Take A Deep Breath

Deep breathing is one of the simplest yet effective tools to get over phone anxiety. It involves taking slow, long breaths from your stomach to counteract the short, rapid breaths most people take when they feel anxious or stressed.

Deep breathing can help calm you and be done anywhere, whether sitting in your car on the way to work or during your lunch break at the office. Try scheduling a time to practice to make it a regular part of your day.

Try 4-4-4 breathing (in for four, hold for four, out for four) or square breathing (in for six, hold for six, out for six). Play around with the different techniques and find one that feels natural.

Remind Yourself Of Your Strengths

Phone calls can feel intimidating, whether a pesky cold caller or a friend calling to check in on you. They can also feel different than text messages because it’s harder to escape an uncomfortable situation when talking on the phone.

When you’re on a call, remind yourself of your strengths. This could include natural talents, learned skills, accomplishments, or healthy relationships. This can help you keep calm and overcome anxiety.

It’s important to understand that your phone anxiety is normal and can be managed with simple techniques. For example, using breathing apps or taking a mindful pause before a call, creating a routine, preparing for scheduled calls, and visualizing success are all great ways to build confidence in phone communication.

Practice Makes Perfect

You are sitting down with your phone, your contacts list pulled up, and you are ready to make that call, but something keeps you from hitting “send.” This is an all-too-common feeling of anxiety or nervousness for some people that can be overcome with the right strategies.

One of those strategies is the practice of exposure training. This involves the gradual, step-by-step practice of progressively more difficult behaviors until you can perform them without fear.

For example, start by calling friends first if you’re scared to call strangers. Next, move to more professional or business-related calls and continue this pattern until you can easily make any call. This is the best way to work through your fears and overcome phone anxiety gradually.

Focus On The Person On The Other End Of The Line

Phone anxiety can hurt both your personal and professional life. It can prevent you from getting the job of your dreams or making new friends and connections. It can also make it difficult to communicate with co-workers or clients.

Luckily, there are ways to overcome phone anxiety. Practicing breathing exercises, visualizing the call going well, and rewarding yourself after a successful phone conversation can all help you feel more confident and comfortable during a call. You can also seek the guidance of a mental health professional. Ultimately, overcoming phone anxiety is about challenging your negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. It’s about recognizing that the person on the other end of the line is just another person who wants to know you.

Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help

Phone anxiety is common, but it doesn’t have to keep you from pursuing new career opportunities or lifelong friendships and relationships. By implementing these powerful tips, you can become a natural on the phone and stop letting it hold you back from success.

If your phone anxieties are severe and are interfering with your daily routine, consider talking to a mental health professional about it. You may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which can help you challenge negative thoughts and replace them with more positive ones.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help from trusted friends and family members who can support you in your journey. Many workplaces offer Employee Assistance Programs that can provide you with confidential assessments and referrals. You can also seek out a local therapist who specializes in social anxiety disorders and phone phobias to work with you on your specific needs.

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