I think of it as leaping into the situation. I've notice that most of the relaxation techniques written about make me feel worse because the act of doing the technique makes me concentrate on the automatic negative thoughts, or make the situation larger than it is. I've had about a 50% success rate. Not pre-planning what to say makes me act more normal but without pre-planning I can quickly run out of things to say and have a very blank mind.
The only battle that is lost, is that which we give up.