A presentation at work

How anxiety shows:
You completely blank on your key points and stumble over your explanations.

Your strategy:
Befriend your fear. Just before you go on, steal away to the bathroom or your office and take inventory of this groundswell of nerves. "Nerves are normal. The problems arise when people try to ignore them," says the psychologist Robert Rosen, Ph.D., author of Just Enough Anxiety. Acknowledging your fear helps you manage it.  It's like being aware of your body before a big game. "Suddenly, it's just the right amount of anxiety for healthy excitement and power," Rosen says. 

A party full of strangers

How anxiety shows:
You develop a case of wallflower syndrome.

Your strategy:
Make it a game: See how many people you can meet in half an hour. Stand back, pick your spots, and then attack. Start by striking up conversations with people standing on the outskirts of a larger group or conversation circle. By secretly including everyone in the game, you're not adrift in a sea of strangers. Instead, you're compartmentalizing each social subgroup into a task, says Paul J. Rosch, M.D., president of the American Institute of Stress. A surefire conversation starter: "How do you know the host?"  

A job interview

How anxiety shows:
You talk at breakneck speed and appear desperate.

Your strategy:
Interview the interviewer. When you're up for your dream job or one that takes you a step closer to it, anxiety has a way of throwing fuel on the eagerness fire and making you seem needy. Reverse the roles, says Rosch. Yes, you want to be agreeable, but make the boss sell you on the position. Prompt him or her with penetrating questions that go beyond the norm. Ask about hurdles the department or company faced when it tried to make a recent change, or the qualities and skills you'll need in order to take the boss's job in 5 years. These show passion and ambition and will force your interviewer to give you an on-the-ground view of the company's culture.

The 2-foot birdie putt

How anxiety shows:
You're suddenly conscious that all eyes are on you.

Your strategy:
See, smell, hear, and feel it in your mind. You already know to visualize your shot, but you may not know how detailed that vision should be, says Rosen. The more sensory details you pack in, the more your scenario becomes an actual rehearsal instead of a mental exercise of hope that only amps the pressure. In addition to seeing the ball go in, feel the heat of the sun, hear the traffic, smell the cut grass, hear the ball hit the cup, and feel the breeze on your face as you walk toward the hole, triumphant.

3 Ways to Beat Your Bad Habits

Zero tolerance: It's the only way to break a bad habit. So don't indulge--scratch that itch mentally. Here's how.

1. Wear a rubber band

When you feel a craving coming on, snap your wrist three times quickly. Scientists and torturers call this negative reinforcement: Craving equals pain. It's akin to smacking yourself on the nose with a newspaper.

2. Pour yourself a glass of cure

When it comes to nervous habits, water is your secret weapon. When you feel a craving coming on, chug at least 10 ounces. It's amazing how well this works.

3. Switch sides of the bed

If you're a consistent habit former, you should overhaul your rou-tines--what time you wake up, what you eat for breakfast, what route you take to work, and so on--every 3 months.