Tips on How Not to Be Nervous : Psychology & Mental Health
How to Overcome Nervousness
Many people get nervous before a big presentation, business meeting, or an upcoming date. Nervousness can get the best of us and can be hard to avoid for some, but with some practice anyone can overcome it. Follow a few simple steps to overcome nervousness about a big event or in daily life.
Handling Nerve-Wracking Situations
Practice whatever makes you nervous.If you are nervous about public speaking, flirting on dates, or doing a good job at work practice can make you more confident and alleviate nerves. The more experience you have, the more used to the situation you will feel.
- If you are nervous about dating, try getting a friend to go on a practice date with you. Go to the place where you plan to have your date and practice having conversations and doing the activities you will do on the date.
- If you are nervous about public speaking, seek out opportunities to practice talking in public. Volunteer to talk in your class at school when there are opportunities. Attend a public meeting and voice your opinion. Join a public speaking organization. The more you get a chance to practice, the less nervous you will be.
Prepare in advance.Preparation for the specific task that makes you nervous will make you feel ready and self-assured.
- For a big meeting, plan out how the meeting will unfold and outline important information you may need so you can have it ready.
- For a job interview, do research on the company and the position so you can speak knowledgeably. Try to think of some potential questions that may come up and plan out your answers in advance.
- For a date, think about questions you can ask your date about themselves. If there are any lulls in conversation you can have an interesting question ready and not have to come up with things to say.
Think positively.Visualize yourself doing well and not being nervous. Walk through the event that makes you nervous in your head and imagine yourself calm and successful.
- For a date, imagine the date going well and that you both are relaxed and having a good time.
- For a big speech, visualize yourself in front of your audience. Think about yourself giving a relaxed and successful presentation. See your audience enjoying your speech.
Relax your body.Try to relax yourself ahead of time to reduce nervousness. Take a few minutes before situations that make you nervous and try to work out your nervous energy and get relaxed.
- Try sitting in a dark, quiet room to calm your mind.
- Progressively relax your body. Tighten and then relax each of your muscles. Start at the top of your body and work your way down. Tighten your shoulder muscles then relax them. Tighten your arm muscles then relax them, and so on.
- Go for a walk to get out some nervous energy and clear your mind.
Concentrate on your breathing.Try to think about your breathing and take slow, deep breaths.
- Thinking about breathing slowly not only calms you down physically, but can also distract you from your nervousness.
- Take ten deep breaths while thinking about the air moving in through your nose, filling your lungs, and moving out through your mouth. This might make you feel focused and calm.
Reduce nervous movements.Even if you feel nervous try not to fidget around nervously.
- Stand still instead of shifting your weight from side to side.
- Hold your hands loosely at your sides instead of making nervous gestures.
- Hold a pen in your hand if it helps you remember not to fidget.
Rationalize the situation.Often, your thoughts about an upcoming event will be much worse than what will actually happen. Ask yourself why you are nervous and whether your feelings are really founded. Think about what could really go wrong and consider that the worst outcome you imagine would not be so bad.
- Try to reframe your thoughts by asking yourself what is the worst that can happen. Picture that outcome, and ask yourself if you could survive should the scenario occur.
Remember that nobody knows you're nervous.Others can not tell how nervous you are so don't worry about appearing too nervous. Often people feel much more nervous than they appear.
Handling General Nervousness
Get more exercise.Getting regular aerobic exercise is an easy and effective way to overcome nervousness. Exercise reduces physical tension in muscles, produces relaxing neurotransmitters, and burns stress hormones. Even 20 minutes of aerobic exercise can help burn off extra cortisol and reduce your stress.
- Try meditation or yoga. These activities are based on relaxation and they are good sources of exercise.
- Take up a sport.
- Join a gym.
- Go out for walks or bicycle rides.
Try journaling.Writing in a journal can help you overcome nervousness by making it easier to collect and confront nervous thoughts. If you think about what makes you nervous and keep track of it in your journal, you'll have a better sense of when and why you get nervous.
- Journaling can also help you work out nervous thoughts head of time on paper so that you are less nervous in your actions.
- Chronicling your nervous thoughts can help put them in perspective. Look back over things you were nervous about and think how well they turned out in the end.
Practice mindfulness.The more you are able to focus on the present moment, the less your mind will concentrate on "what-if" situations. Practice mindfulness in everyday situations by focusing on what is directly around you and clearing your head of noise and invasive thoughts.
Drink less caffeine.Caffeine is known to make people feel nervous and jittery. Try to avoid drinks with caffeine, especially before an event you are nervous about or late at night.
- Instead of coffee and caffeinated teas, try drinking a calming herbal tea.
- Avoid sodas with caffeine.
- Energy drinks are very high in caffeine.
Get more sleep.Loss of sleep can be a major trigger for nervousness, so making sure you are well rested is important.
Seek help for more serious nervousness and anxiety.If your nervousness prevents you from doing things you want to do in your daily life you may need to seek help from a therapist or psychologist.
Speak with a professional.A professional therapist or psychologist can help you overcome more problematic nervousness using medication or therapy.Some solutions to discuss with a professional include:
- Medication to reduce stress or anxiety.
- Techniques to be more aware of stress or nervousness.
- Breathing techniques to reduce nervousness.
- Relaxation strategies to reduce bodily symptoms of nervousness.
- Techniques for how to think about your nervousness and confront it or distract yourself.
- Managing nervousness through slow exposure to anxiety inducing situations
- Problem-solving strategies for confronting nervousness.
- Methods for coping with setbacks.
QuestionWhat should I do if I get nervous while riding a bike?
Licensed Professional CounselorLicensed Professional CounselorExpert AnswerKeep riding. If you stop riding, you will only reinforce the idea that riding a bike is dangerous. Also, try to determine what exactly is making you nervous about riding and work directly on correcting that. The only way out of the fear is by facing it.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I stop being nervous when competing?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerStop thinking about losing. Focus on having fun instead!Thanks!
QuestionWhen I am nervous, I tend to speak very fast and stutter a lot, causing others to have trouble understanding me. What can I do to stop this?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerStop for 2-3 seconds, breathe, and stay calm. Gather your thoughts in your head and begin speaking slowly but clearly.Thanks!
QuestionWhy is it that when I get nervous I experience symptoms of dizziness, clammy hands, and trembling?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis is extremely common. When we are nervous, it triggers our "fight or flight" response, a primal response in the brain that tells us to run or prepare for battle. The physical response is your body trying to tell you something is wrong, but for some people, the wires get crossed, and they get these responses in a relatively safe situation.Thanks!
QuestionWhen I get nervous my stomach hurts and I shake. How do I stop this?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust relax and try and focus on your breathing. Try to stop shaking by sitting in a relaxed position and don't try to overthink.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if my friends and crush think that I don't look good in the dress I'm wearing?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWho cares what they think? The only thing that matters is whether you like the dress or not. Clothing is one of the ways you show your individuality, and you don't want your friends or crush liking you only for your looks.Thanks!
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If you want to overcome nervousness, focus on breathing slowly and steadily to stay calm. You could also try doing more exercise prior to an event you're nervous about as this will help you to relax your muscles and burn stress hormones. For example, you could do some yoga or go to the gym. Alternatively, try tensing and relaxing the muscles in your body, starting from the top and working your way down. Finally, remember that even if you feel really nervous, other people won't realize you're nervous, so there's no need to feel embarrassed.
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Video: How to Overcome Nervousness
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