How to stop nervous shaking hands

Hand tremors: How to stop shaky hands

What causes hand tremors? | How to stop shaky hands | Medications | Surgery | When to see a doctor for shaking hands

Tremors are involuntary muscle spasms that can occur in many areas of the body. While twitching muscles can affect the eyes, legs, face, vocal cords, and other body parts, tremors are often associated with the hands. Living with hand tremors can be frustrating and make daily activities such as eating or dressing oneself difficult. Approximately 10 million people in the United States experience some form of hand tremors. 

There are numerous types of tremors and reasons why they happen. Some are temporary and go away on their own, and others are linked to more severe health problems. Learn more about what causes hand tremors, how to stop shaky hands, and when to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional about hand tremors. 

What causes tremors?

Many things from diet and lifestyle changes to medications and health conditions can cause hand tremors. Shaky hands in the morning could be the result of fatigue or too much caffeine. Shaking in the elderly could be due to a vitamin deficiency or a medication side effect. Tremors can also be a warning sign of alcohol withdrawal, stress, anxiety, blood pressure problems, and other health conditions. 

Types of hand tremors

Treatment options for tremors of the hands may also vary based on what type you have. A healthcare professional can help you determine which type of hand tremor you or a loved one has. Here are some common types of hand tremors.

Physiologic tremor

A physiologic tremor could be a side effect of a medication. Corticosteroids, amphetamines, and some asthma medications are known for causing temporary hand tremors. Medicines used to treat neurological and psychiatric conditions can also produce physiological tremor. 

Physiologic tremors can also be a symptom of the following:

  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)

Parkinson’s disease tremor

Many people often associate shaking hands and limbs with the neurological disorder Parkinson’s disease. Nearly 80% of individuals with Parkinson’s have tremors, which often occur in the resting state (called resting tremors). Patients with further developed Parkinson’s disease can have continuous and severe tremors, which seriously interfere with everyday tasks such as eating or tying their shoes. 

Essential tremor

Hands shake rhythmically and involuntarily with essential tremors. Although essential tremors are neurological, it is not in the same category as tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease. Essential tremors are treatable and sometimes avoidable, but not curable. Extreme temperatures, stress, anxiety, smoking cigarettes, and caffeine can trigger and worsen essential tremors. 

Psychogenic tremor

Psychogenic tremors are often the result of a psychological condition such as stress, anxiety, trauma, or psychiatric disorder. Spasms and involuntary body movements can develop from a rapid increase in blood pressure and heart rate associated with stress.


A cerebellar tremor can occur when the cerebellum or pathways to the brain have been injured or damaged. Stroke patients can develop tremors if the cerebral arteries are damaged. A tumor is another example of damage to the cerebellum, causing hand or body tremors. 

Medications that cause tremors

Hand tremors are the potential side effect of numerous medications. Prescription drugs used to treat depression, asthma, cancer, and acid reflux are among many that can cause shaky hands. Some antibiotics, weight loss medications, and antivirals are also on the list of drugs that can result in temporary hand tremors.

Antidepressants and antipsychotics 

Although effective in treating depression, shaky hands are a side effect of many antidepressants. Antipsychotic medications also cause tremors which are known as tardive dyskinesia. Common medications include: 

  • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, doxepin, amoxapine
  • Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro
  • Mood stabilizers, such as lithium, Depakote, Lamictal 

Asthma medication

Side effects of asthma or bronchodilators can lead to movement disorders in the fingers and hands. Prescription inhalers or nebulizers such as Proventil and Ventolin (albuterol) are among those that stimulate the nervous system, potentially causing shaky hands. The hand tremors are only temporary, lasting 30 to 60 minutes after using the medication and are not to be considered harmful.

Acid reflux medication

Prilosec (omeprazole) can also cause hand tremors as a side effect. Omeprazole interferes with vitamin B12 absorption, which is an essential vitamin for the nervous system. Shakiness should stop upon discontinuing the use of the drug.

Anti-nausea medicine

Reglan (metoclopramide) has the potential side effect of muscle spasms, but you should notify your healthcare professional if you experience this side effect. Reglan can also interfere with other medications (even over-the-counter pain meds), so it is important to tell your doctor if and what other medications you are taking.

How to stop shaky hands naturally

Hand tremors can be annoying, embarrassing, and affect how you live. Lifestyle changes and natural remedies such as altering your diet, exercise, therapy, and even surgery are options for relieving hand tremors. Natural home remedies could significantly reduce or eliminate shaky hand symptoms and reduce the need for medicinal or surgical treatment.

Diet changes

A Mediterranean diet full of fruits and vegetables can have a positive effect on overall health, but it’s also been studied against neurodegeneration, Alzheimer’s, and essential tremors. The diet includes vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole-grain cereal, and unsaturated fatty acids. Fish is also allowed, but it can sometimes be contaminated with mercury, which could make tremors worse. People on a Mediterranean diet should limit their dairy, meat, poultry, and alcohol consumption.

Water is another form of medicine. Drinking the recommended four to six cups of water a day can keep the body hydrated as well as flush toxins from the body that could be contributing to hand tremors.  

Caffeine is a stimulant, so reducing or eliminating it from your diet can also minimize hand tremors. Caffeine is in coffee, tea, sodas, and other beverages and chocolate. If you consume caffeine regularly and abruptly stop, you can also experience tremors from caffeine withdrawal. After discontinuing caffeine, shaky hands and other withdrawal symptoms may last up to 10 days. Weaning yourself from this stimulant could prove to be a practical approach to avoid hand tremors. 

Alcohol is another contributing factor to hand tremors. As a depressant, alcohol affects the central nervous system. Hand tremors can occur when drinking alcohol excessively as well as from alcohol withdrawal.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential to maintain a healthy nervous system. A deficiency of vitamin B12, B-6, or B-1 could lead to the development of hand tremors. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin B12 for adults is 6 mcg, but you may need more if you take a medication that hinders vitamin absorption.

Vitamin B12 can be taken in a capsule form, injection, or found in everyday foods. Eggs, milk, meat, and most animal products naturally contain vitamin B12. Many cereals have been fortified with vitamins as well.

Hand and wrist exercises

Your healthcare provider may refer you to a physical or occupational therapist for treatment or recommend exercises you can do at home. 

Squeezing a stress ball or hand grip for two to 10 seconds, releasing, and repeating 10 times on each hand can be an easy exercise to incorporate into your day. 

Rotating the wrists in a circular motion can keep tendons and ligaments flexible. Moving the hands with intention can keep synovial fluid from building up, which prevents or reduces tremors.

Curling a light hand weight with arms resting on a table and your palms facing up can also strengthen and fine-tune your muscle control.

Weighted hand glove

A weighted glove is a piece of adaptive equipment designed by occupational therapists. The gloves come in various weights. The gloves offer an individual with tremors more hand stability and can reduce the patient’s need for surgery.


Stress, anxiety, and other mental health problems can trigger hand tremors. Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, creating a relaxing atmosphere, practicing yoga, and meditating are all worth exploring if stress contributes to tremors. 

Massage therapy can also heal muscles in the hands affected by tremors while reducing stress in the mind and body.

Fatigue is another common cause of shakiness, as getting plenty of rest is important for the body and nervous system to function correctly. The average adult needs approximately seven to nine hours of sleep.

Medications for tremors

Tremors may be treatable with a variety of medications. Beta blockers, anticonvulsants, anti-seizure medications, and amino acids are among some of the commonly prescribed drugs to reduce shaky hands. 


A 5% progesterone cream can block adrenaline and be a useful aid in reducing shaky hands, according to Micheal E. Platt, MD, the owner of Platt Wellness Center and author of Adrenaline Dominance. This topical solution is available over-the-counter (OTC) and can be rubbed onto the skin of the hands to relieve symptoms.


Mysoline (primidone) is a commonly prescribed medication used to treat seizures, but can also be useful in reducing hand tremors. This prescription drug is a barbiturate anticonvulsant, and it helps stabilize the brain’s electrical pulses. 


Levodopa is an amino acid that can help reduce tremors by replenishing the body’s dopamine supply. Commonly used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, levodopa may also help treat other forms of tremors. Individuals who take levodopa should avoid proteins found in foods such as meats and iron supplements, as these could decrease the medicine’s absorption factor. 

Beta blockers

Beta blockers (or beta-adrenergic blocking agents) block adrenaline, also referred to as epinephrine, and reduce blood pressure. Lower blood pressure can reduce the onset of tremors. Beta blockers such as metoprolol, propranolol, nadolol, or bisoprolol treat health issues, including tremors. 

In addition to or lieu of prescribed beta blockers, beta-adrenergic blocking agents can be found naturally in many foods. Nuts, seeds, bananas, leafy greens, poultry, and meats contain beta blockers. Eating these foods could help reduce anxiety, contribute to overall wellness, and possibly reduce tremors.

Surgery for hand tremors

In some cases of tremors, especially essential tremors, surgery may be necessary. A minimally invasive process of inserting a neurostimulator into the brain called deep brain stimulation (DBS) is available. Similar to a pacemaker, the neurostimulator device sends an electrical pulse that can prevent tremors from occurring.

A thalamotomy is another surgery for individuals with essential tremors. This particular surgery interferes with the thalamus on one side of the brain. This surgery is often performed on the side of the brain opposite side of your dominant hand. The results of the operation will then impact and relieve symptoms of the dominant hand. Side effects of the surgery are often temporary but can include speech difficulties, confusion, and balance issues.

When should someone see a doctor for shaky hands

If you have hand tremors, seeking professional help sooner than later could prevent the worsening of a severe medical condition. Medications that slow the onset and progression of neurological disorders could be an essential step to managing your wellness. On the other hand, your healthcare professional may inform you that you just need to reduce stress in your life or switch to decaf. Either way, finding out why you have hand tremors should be a priority. 

Anxiety Shaking: Causes and Treatments

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Anxiety and worry are emotions everyone feels at some point. Approximately 40 million American adults have anxiety disorders.

Feelings of anxiety can trigger other symptoms, such as:

  • muscle tension
  • difficulty concentrating
  • increased heart rate
  • uncontrollable shaking or trembling

Tremors caused by anxiety aren’t dangerous, but they can be uncomfortable. Sometimes losing control of your body when you’re having anxiety can quickly escalate into other symptoms.

This article will explore the connection between shaking and anxiety, and leave you with some ideas for how to treat this symptom.

Panic disorder and anxiety that leads to attacks have some things in common, but they’re not the same condition. Both conditions can lead to physical symptoms that feel out of your control, including trembling and “the shakes.”

If you have generalized anxiety disorder, ordinary situations may make you feel intensely fearful or overwhelmed. You may find it hard to concentrate. You may also experience your mind going “blank” as the fear and worry from your thoughts take over.

In addition, headaches, muscle aches, and other pains you can’t explain may accompany your anxious thoughts.

Panic attacks don’t always have a clear cause. When you have panic attacks due to a certain trigger, it’s called an expected panic attack. That means they’re somewhat predictable.

The symptoms of a panic attack can be seen and identified by someone else, while the symptoms of anxiety take place mostly in your mind and may be harder to spot.

When you’re having severe anxiety, it can cause physical symptoms. Perceived stress, danger, and high levels of emotion usually set off anxiety. Anxiety can lead to a panic attack, but it doesn’t always.

Similarly, having a panic attack doesn’t mean that you have an anxiety condition.

When your body is subjected to stress, it goes into fight, flight, or freeze mode. Stress hormones flood your body and speed up your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing.

Your body prepares to deal with the stressor, interpreting the anxiousness as a signal that you’ll need to stand your ground or escape from danger. Your muscles become primed to act, leading to a trembling sensation, twitching, or shaking.

Other symptoms of anxiety and panic disorder include:

  • difficulty concentrating on anything besides anxious thoughts
  • fatigue and muscle ache
  • headache or migraine
  • nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite
  • rapid breathing
  • excessive sweating
  • feeling tense, irritable, and “on edge”

Once you’ve determined that you’re having a panic or anxiety attack, fighting against your symptoms might make them last longer.

The most effective strategy to stop trembling from panic or anxiety is to guide your body back to a relaxed state. Certain techniques can help you calm down:

  • Progressive muscle relaxation. This technique focuses on contracting and then releasing different muscle groups. It can be done in tandem with deep breathing. The goal in practicing this technique is to get your body to relax. This can stop you from trembling.
  • Yoga poses. The child’s pose and sun salutations can help you regulate your breathing and bring calm back to your body. Regular yoga practice has been shown to reduce anxiety symptoms.
  • Mindfulness exercises. Exercises that incorporate meditation can also help stop you from shaking. Mindfulness meditations to guide you through 5 to 10 minutes of awareness and relaxation. These can be found on apps, such as Headspace, and online.

Practicing these techniques when you’re not in a state of panic or anxiety will make them more effective when you need to use them.

Long-term solutions for people with anxiety or panic disorder can include medication and help from a licensed therapist or psychiatrist. Several methods of therapy can help you identify the triggers of your anxious thoughts and feelings. These include:

  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • talk therapy
  • eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EDMR)

If you frequently experience anxiety or panic attacks, you should speak to your doctor about medication treatment options. Those include:

  • Benzodiazepines. These are drugs that help relax your mind and calm your body. Alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), and clonazepam (Klonopin) are examples of this class of drug used for short-term anxiety and panic relief. Both prescribers and patients should be aware that benzodiazepines are associated with a risk for tolerance, dependence, and addiction. The Food and Drug Administration requires that they carry a boxed warning.
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This is one class of drug that might be prescribed for long-term treatment. Escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), and paroxetine (Paxil) are examples of this type of drug usually prescribed to treat depression and anxiety.
  • Monamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). MAOIs are used to treat panic disorder, but can work for anxiety, too. Dicarboxamide (Marplan) and tranylcypromine (Parnate) are examples of this type of medication.

Integrative treatments, like herbal teas and supplements, can cut down on anxiety and panic attacks for some people. More research needs to be done on herbal treatments to determine whether they’re effective.

Remember that herbal remedies aren’t necessarily better for your body than traditional medication. Herbals have properties that cause side effects and interactions just like medication does.

Online therapy options

Read our review of the best online therapy options to find the right fit for you.

Physical symptoms that feel out of your control can be frightening and make your anxiety feel even worse. The good news is that anxiety and panic can be helped with medication, therapy, and a proper diagnosis.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you’re experiencing anxiety-induced trembling or shaking.

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.

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.

  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.

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.

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.

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".

How to stop being shy of everyone and everything: 10 effective methods



Lifehacker has collected specific and really working ways that will help you finally get out of the cocoon and start communicating normally with people.

1. Make a list of problem situations

It is better to start solving a problem with analysis. Therefore, do not be too lazy to remember and write down all the situations in which you feel embarrassed. Be extremely specific. Instead of “talking to people,” indicate which people you are talking about: strangers, members of the opposite sex, or people in power.

When you break the problem down, it appears more manageable.

Then try to arrange the recorded situations in order of increasing anxiety (probably calling a stranger causes less anxiety than speaking in front of an audience).

This list can then be used as a plan to combat shyness. Starting small, you will overcome more and more difficult situations for you. And with each new victory, the feeling of confidence will grow, and shyness, respectively, will decrease.

2. Fix your strengths

Another list to help you fight shyness should be about your positive qualities. As a rule, the cause of shyness is low self-esteem. Fight it mercilessly, reminding yourself of your own splendor (this is not a joke).

Try to find the other side of even shortcomings. It may be difficult for you to conduct a long monologue, but you are an excellent listener. This communication skill can and should be used as well.

3. Decide on a goal

Any action becomes much more effective when it is purposeful. It is clear that constant embarrassment interferes with life, but you need to explain to yourself what exactly it prevents you from doing. It is possible that the formulated goal will become an impetus for overcoming the old problem.

Eric Holtzclaw

Serial entrepreneur, author of Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior, radio host

Although I perform, write, and host a radio show, I am an introvert at heart. But as the head of the company, I had to talk about our products and services. It required me to get out of my shell and take the message to the world. I overcame my shyness by realizing that only I can ensure that my message is delivered correctly. After realizing this fact, I took steps to make it easier for myself to speak in public and meet new people.

4. Practice

Skills need to be honed, and habits that interfere with life should be systematically eradicated. All this applies to sociability and shyness. Here are some ideas that you can use as a kind of workout.

  • Reprogram yourself. Imagine that your shyness is a program in the brain that runs in response to certain situations, and you, as a computer user, have the power to influence this process. Try to go from the opposite and do the opposite of what you are used to. Do you want to hide in a corner at a party? Go to the thick of things. Have you caught yourself thinking that in a conversation you are taking a position of deaf defense? Try asking the interviewee a few questions.
  • Talk to strangers. Try to talk at least once a day with one stranger (preferably with a random passer-by). You will most likely never see him again, so feel free to hone your communication skills on him.
  • Communicate more in general. Try to use every opportunity to make contact with people. Tell jokes, agree to speeches, say hello to those you often meet but never greet.
  • Warm up before an important conversation. Want to talk to a specific person at a party but are afraid to approach them? Practice on those present who cause less embarrassment. If we are talking about acquaintance, try to tell them everything that you plan to say in front of the right person. After such a rehearsal, it will be easier to speak.
  • And always prepare for public speaking. But don't limit yourself to just repeating the speech. Visualize your future success with the audience. This will give you confidence.

5. Focus on others

The problem with shy people is that they think too much about themselves and the impression they will make on others. Try to redirect the flow of thoughts from yourself to others. Be interested, ask, empathize. When you focus on the other person, anxiety about your own behavior fades into the background.

6. Try something new

Get out of your comfort zone. Firstly, this step will positively affect your self-esteem, and secondly, it will diversify your life. You can enroll in a sports section or art courses. Another great option is improvisation workshops. Such exercises help to liberate.

7. Watch your body language

Eye contact, correct posture, speaking loudly and clearly, as well as smiling and shaking hands firmly communicate to others about your confidence and openness. Moreover, with these signals, you deceive your brain a little and really begin to feel more free.

8. Say “no” less often

Much has been said about the importance of the word “no”. But shy people, on the contrary, should avoid it. Their refusal (expressed both in word and action) is often dictated by fear of the unknown and an unreasonable fear of shame. If you want to stop being shy, learn to say yes to the opportunities that life presents.

9. Learn to manage anxiety

Some of the physiological responses associated with shyness are very difficult to overcome. Someone begins to stutter, someone - to blush violently or forget the simplest words. It is almost impossible to stop this with one effort of will. The ability to quickly relax, for example, with the help of deep breathing, will help to cope with the problem.

10. Don't advertise your shyness

Don't focus your attention or others on the fact that you have communication problems. This is how you label yourself and subconsciously reinforce the belief that shyness is your permanent trait.

Even if others notice your embarrassment, pretend that it is an accident, talk about it lightly, and not as a serious problem. Are you starting to blush? Say that this is a feature of your body, and not a reaction to stress. And never characterize yourself in front of strangers as a shy person.

Learn more