How do you stop being nervous

Why It's Different from Anxiety & How to Feel Better

Everyone experiences nervousness at one time or another. It feels like a combination of anxiety, dread, and excitement all at once. Your palms may get sweaty, your heart rate may increase, and you may feel that fluttery nervous stomach feeling.

Anything that causes apprehension or fear can lead to feelings of nervousness. They can be brought on by good experiences and negative ones, such as a first date, a job interview, or attending a funeral.

Nervousness is a common feeling brought on by your body’s stress response. This involves series of hormonal and physiological responses that help prepare you to handle a perceived or imagined threat.

Your body prepares to fight or flee a threat by boosting adrenaline production. Almost instantly, your heart begins to beat faster, your blood pressure rises, and your breathing quickens, increasing your alertness and energy.

This response can result in feelings of nervousness and anxiety.

Nervousness is a natural response to a stressful event. It’s temporary and resolves once the stress has passed. It can be controlled, even if you’re someone who is more prone to nervous feelings.

While nervousness is a common symptom of anxiety disorders, they’re not the same thing.

Anxiety disorders are psychiatric disorders that develop from a number of complex factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, and life events. Anxiety disorders are long-lasting and uncontrollable without treatment.

People with an anxiety disorder often experience severe feelings of nervousness or worry. These feelings can come on frequently and without an obvious stressor.

People may also experience a number of pronounced physical and mental symptoms that impact their ability to function.

symptoms of anxiety disorders
  • headaches
  • odd sensations in your body
  • numbness
  • body aches and pain
  • irritability
  • shaking or trembling
  • insomnia
  • trouble concentrating
  • rapid heart beat
  • chest tightness
  • fatigue
  • stomach aches
  • diarrhea
  • sweating

Nervousness is a normal reaction to certain situations. With these tips and a little practice, you can learn how to keep your nerves from getting the better of you.

Don’t be afraid of nervousness

In an uncomfortable situation, remind yourself that nervousness is normal, and it can even be helpful.

Most of us feel this way when presented with new challenges and opportunities. Ultimately, these experiences help us grow.

Nervousness is your body’s way of preparing you for what’s coming, which is usually something that’s outside your comfort zone. Letting go of your fear and accepting that it’s a completely natural experience can help keep your nerves in check.

Be prepared

You can’t always predict or plan for everything that life throws your way. However, there are some work and social situations that you can prepare for in advance. These include:

  • practicing for a scheduled work presentation or meeting
  • having a friend or loved one accompany you to an event or appointment
  • allowing extra time to get ready for work, dates, or other social events

Get into a positive headspace

A lack of confidence or worrying that you’ll mess up are often to blame for nervousness. When you begin to doubt your abilities, find ways to get yourself into a more positive frame of mind.

To do this, use positive self-talk or envision your desired outcome. Putting on an uplifting song or movie can also work wonders.

Talk to someone

Call your mom, your best friend, or anyone else you trust. Sharing your feelings with someone you feel comfortable with helps put things in perspective. They can help you see the situation in a more rational light.

A 2014 study showed that sharing your feelings with someone else, especially someone who’s been through a similar situation, can reduce stress and make you feel more positive.

Try a relaxation technique

Learning to relax is important for overcoming nervousness and managing stress in general. Breathing exercises are just one way to practice relaxation.

Deep breathing works quickly, and it can be practiced at any time and any place you feel nervous. There are different types of breathing exercises that have been shown to work. These include the 4-7-8 breathing technique and diaphragmatic breathing.

ways to cope with stress
  • exercise
  • yoga
  • meditation
  • massage
  • listening to music
  • spending time with a pet
  • aromatherapy

Nervousness is a perfectly natural response to a new experience or a situation that’s outside of your comfort zone. While uncomfortable, the feeling is only temporary, and you’ll feel better once the cause of your nervousness is over.

You can work to overcome your nervousness with some simple relaxation exercises or preparing in advance for situations that can take you out of your comfort zone.

How to stop being nervous | Confidence

Clammy hands? Racing heart? Shaky voice? We’ve all been nervous at one point or another, but it can get pretty annoying when it's a common occurrence. Find out why we get nervous, how to know when it’s become a problem, and ways to get relief.

Why do we get nervous?

The good news is that feeling nervous is completely normal. In fact, it’s an evolutionary reaction that’s programmed into our brains!

When you’re confronted with a stressful situation (whether it’s a growling unchained dog or a job interview) you have the same biological reaction, just to different degrees. Your body’s nervous system (your fight-or-flight response) takes over, adrenaline (the hormone that prepares the body for sudden, physical activity) is released, and blood and energy are redirected to your heart and muscles to prepare them to react to the ‘threat’. This is why we feel physical symptoms when we’re nervous.

To find out more about what it's like when your nerves get out of control, and what you can do to feel in control, listen to this audio story: A Day in the Life: Social Anxiety.

Nerve-busting strategies

There are lots of reasons why we might feel nervous; but if your nerves are stopping you from doing the things you want or need to do, it’s time to try out some nerve-busting strategies.

1. Breeeeathe

When you focus on slowing your breathing, you can actually short-circuit your nervous system – meaning, you’ll start to feel calmer and less agitated.

2. Think positive

When you feel your nerves creeping up on you, a handy question to ask yourself is: What’s the best thing that can happen? Thinking positively about the bigger picture and visualising it, instead of assuming the worst, helps give you courage and perspective.

3. Practise, practise, practise

Rehearsing as much as possible, whether it’s in front of a mirror or with a friend, is one of the best things you can do to avoid feeling nervous about a particular activity. When you practise something, you strengthen the connections in your brain. The stronger those connections are, the more skilled you become at doing it. Not to mention, the more confident you feel about doing something, the easier it will be to do.

4. Look after yourself

If a big event is coming up, it’s easy to forget that you’re an actual human with basic needs such as food and sleep. Sometimes eating a full meal might seem like the last thing you want to do before an event that’s making you feel nervous. If this is the case, just eat a banana instead. It’s a great snack food that will give your brain a good boost of energy. Getting enough sleep is also important for feeling super-fresh and on the ball.

If your nerves are getting the better of you

Nerves can sometimes be hard to shake. If you’ve tried out all these methods but you’re still finding it difficult to deal with certain situations, there might be something bigger going on. If this is the case, get in touch with a GP or talk to a trusted friend or family member about it. Feeling nervous shouldn't stop you from living your life.

What can I do now?

  • Download the ReachOut Breathe app and learn some effective breathing exercises.
  • Learn how mindfulness can help you cope with nervousness.
  • Check out these easy ways to relax.

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How to stop winding yourself up: 10 recommendations from Dale Carnegie's book

Contents of the article

Excitement and anxiety accompany us everywhere: at home and at work, on the bus and in the store, in line and in traffic jams. There is practically no person who does not face excitement. But some people can pull themselves together and survive an unpleasant moment, while others begin to wind themselves up even more, turning simple anxiety into chronic stress. We've summarized the tips from psychologist Dale Carnegie in How to Stop Worrying and Start Living? to change your perspective and reduce stress. nine0003

Tip 1. Distinguish between the past and the present

To stop overthinking yourself and worrying about problems that may happen in the future, you need to live in the present. Dale Carnegie proposes to mentally install an "iron curtain" that will delimit the past and the future, preventing a person from regretting old mistakes once again or thinking about tomorrow's difficulties.

Advice 2. Answer the Questions

At the height of your panic attack, ask yourself three questions from Willis Carrier's magical formula from Dale Carnegie's book. nine0003

  1. What is the worst thing that can happen in this situation?
  2. How can this problem be solved?
  3. Will I be able to cope with these difficulties?

If you honestly answer these questions for yourself, you will understand that even in the worst case scenario, you will be able to cope with trouble.

Tip 3. Think about the harmful effects of stress

In times of stress, you must constantly remember the harm that anxiety can do to your body. The author of the book cites the sad fact that business people who live in chronic stress die early. Therefore, it is important to take care of yourself and stay calm. nine0003

Tip 4. Think positively

Cheerful thoughts can reduce anxiety and calm down quickly. To do this, you need to develop positive thinking in yourself, try to maintain a good mood and look at life with a smile.

Advice 5. Start acting

When a person is inactive, bad thoughts begin to creep into his head. The best way to get rid of them is to keep yourself busy. So the brain will switch to action, and psychological stress will decrease. nine0003

Tip 6. Get rid of the habit of being nervous

Surely you have met people who, for any reason, begin to worry. For them, anxiety for no reason has already become a habit, which is still better to get rid of. To do this is simple - create a new useful habit - do not worry about trifles.

Advice 7. Do not worry about what has already happened

Many people continue to reproach themselves for past mistakes that cannot be corrected. In this situation, you need to accept the inevitable and let go of the past. Just say to yourself, “What happened that should have happened” and calm down. nine0003

Advice 8. Set an acceptable level of emotions

To control excitement and anxiety, you need to mentally set a "limiter" to your emotions. Just assess the situation and determine the acceptable level of experience, beyond which you can not go.

As you can see, Dale Carnegie's recommendations are quite simple and easy to apply in everyday life. The main thing to do is to firmly decide to change your thinking. You can also study the nature of stress and master relaxation techniques - see the instructions in the free online course "Stress Management". nine0003

How to stop worrying about trifles: the causes of unpleasant thoughts and ways to deal with them.

How often do you get upset over little things and can't smile afterwards? A friend being late, traffic jams, uncomfortable shoes - anything can piss you off. The main thing is to calm down in time and set yourself up in a positive way.

Some of us are biologically more resilient to stress. There is a scientific explanation: the amygdala - the brain's sensor of fear and danger - may be more or less active. Some people are completely calm about dramas, while for others, any negative thought causes a storm of emotions and tears. nine0003

By the way, a special neural network of operational rest is responsible for our thoughts in the brain. When we do not perform any tasks, it begins to work, causing certain memories and emotions.

Let's figure out how to set her up for positive thoughts only.

1. Return to reality

The most common mistake is to mistake your bad thoughts for reality. If for no reason you begin to worry about your future, family and role in this world, quickly return to the present. To do this, close your eyes, breathe deeply, feel your pulse. Deep breathing helps oxygen reach the brain and lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. nine0003

2. Get fit

Physical activity also helps to deal with stress. “Fitness classes help get rid of adrenaline, which causes anxiety in large quantities,” says Gareth Hughes, one of the scientists at the University of Derby. Exercise relaxes muscles, regulates breathing, and stimulates the production of serotonin and endorphins, essential for happiness.

3. Be grateful

To get more positive thoughts, learn to be grateful. Remember what good things happened to you during the day, and write down on a piece of paper who and for what you want to say “thank you”. It can be little things: you were given a lift to work, told an interesting story, or you just didn’t get caught in the rain. Shift your attention from what could go wrong to what has already happened and what you are happy about. nine0003

4. Start a new project

The human brain constantly needs new tasks, otherwise it gets bored. Therefore, find non-standard activities for the weekend (for example, in the regular “billboards” for the coming week): instead of walking and meeting friends in a restaurant, go to an exhibition, play tennis, or sign up for a language course.

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