We all feel nervous at one point or another – before an important test, starting a new job, or moving on to the next phase of your life – nervousness is always there. The butterflies in your stomach, the feeling of dread, and even the little bit of anxiety we feel are all nervousness combined in one.
Nervousness is a relatively common experience that we all experience in everyday interactions. Unfortunately, when we leave our nervousness unchecked, it can forestall our growth, and performance, and even make us turn our backs on great opportunities.
Now, fortunately, there are practical ways to stop being nervous and avoid letting our nervousness get the best of us. Today, we’re looking at some of the best ways how we can overcome nervousness and regain control of our lives once more.
Why Do We Get Nervous?
Before we can begin to learn the ways to stop being nervous, we need to understand why we get nervous at all! Nervousness is one of the most common responses of our body that is triggered by the stress response aka the fight-flight-and-freeze response. Various psychological and physiological changes that our nervous system goes through trigger nervousness.
When our body prepares to respond to the stress response, it releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which can instantly cause our heartbeats to rise, increase blood pressure, increases energy, puts us in hyper-alert mode, and causes shortness of breath.
This response can be nervousness. Nervousness, unlike anxiety disorder, is a temporary response and can go away after a while. Anxiety, on the other hand, can be harder to control as it is a psychiatric disorder that can be caused by various factors (some of which can be out of your control). Anxiety disorders usually need long-term treatment and even medications.
If you have an anxiety disorder, then you may often experience feelings of nervousness and may be triggered even without a stressor.
Some common symptoms of anxiety disorders can include;
Headaches or migraines
Body aches and pain
Experiencing shaking or trembling
Sleep troubles like insomnia
Rapid heart rate
Tightness in the chest
Diarrhea or other stomach issues
How to Stop Being Nervous? 1. Don’t Ignore Your Nerves
When you feel nervous, don’t ignore the nerves. Remind yourself that nervousness is temporary and common and can even disguise itself as excitement. Most of the time, our nervousness is poorly disguised as excitement rather than the opposite. So, when you feel the nerves coming around, take a breath, and tell yourself that it’s OK. Accept your nervousness and take the next step.
2. Be Ready For It
Life is too unpredictable so you have to be ready to face everything. You can’t always know when your nervousness will hit so be ready to deal with the nerves in advance. You can try different strategies to be ready for it such as preparing your schedule in advance, having a friend or a loved one to come with you to important events, allowing extra time to prepare yourself mentally for an event you’re planning on attending, etc.
3. Work on Your Self-Talk
When you feel nervous, it could also mess up your confidence and lower your self-esteem. To work on that you need to improve your self-talk. When you begin to question yourself or second-guess your abilities, find ways to improve your self-talk and self-perception. You can listen to an uplifting song, watch a motivating movie, or listen to an inspiring podcast.
4. Try Relaxing Techniques
Relaxation techniques could be effective and practical ways to stop being nervous too. Deep breathing exercises and other relaxation exercises can help you manage the nervousness and stress that you feel generally. You can quickly practice deep breathing exercises such as 4-4-4-4 breathing or box breathing, 4-7-8 breathing exercises, and diaphragmatic breathing.
5. Practice Visualization
You can also practice visualization to get rid of your nervousness. It’s a technique that many sportspeople and performers use to overcome their nerves before their performance. You can close your eyes, visualize yourself acing your performance, and let go of the nervousness.
Imagine feeling confident in yourself and you’ll feel in control. This exercise in itself can help rewire your nervous system and regain control.
6. Try the Gradual Exposure Trick
If some situations constantly trigger your nerves, then try to gradually expose yourself to small, low-stake situations that make you nervous and then slowly make your way up. By exposing yourself to nervous situations, you can work on hardening yourself or desensitizing yourself and build confidence and say goodbye to nervousness.
7. Talk to Someone
You can also call a friend, a parent, or a mentor and talk to them to feel empowered. When you share your feelings with people, you’re close to or comfortable with then it can put things for you in perspective and give you the confidence to move on from your nervousness. Talking to people can also help you improve your self-esteem and confidence and get rid of nerves.
8. Let Go of Self-Inflicted Anger
It could also be self-inflicted anger that can cause you to feel nervous. Letting the anger go is another thing that can help you overcome nervousness. You need to work on yourself and your self-worth. If you’re angry at yourself then you’ll keep struggling with your mistakes.
Holding onto your anger can affect your self-esteem. What you can do is let go of your anger to work on your self-esteem and overcome nervousness.
9. Change Your Lifestyle
To let go of your nerves, you can also try changing your habits and lifestyle to avoid triggering or nervous situations. Try to figure out what makes you nervous and slowly change your lifestyle to work around the cause of your nervousness. Try to eat healthily, drink a lot of water, and exercise to improve your physical and mental health.
10. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
If you struggle with nervousness, then you need to be easy on yourself. You might have high expectations of yourself and not meeting them can cause you to be nervous. Try to let go of those high expectations.
Not being too hard on yourself can help you feel less stressed and negative about yourself. Try not to take things too seriously and if you fail something, take them as a learning experience rather than a failure.
Nervousness in your life can be debilitating and can interfere with your day-to-day interactions. By following these practical tips, you can learn to stop being nervous and regain control of your life once more. Breaking free of nervousness can be a long process but it needs practice and patience. With a positive attitude and a mindset, you can let go of your nerves and become more confident day by day.
You can also talk to someone – a loved one, a mentor, or a counselor – to learn more about how nervousness affects us and be less nervous.
I hope these practical tips to help you stop being nervous will help you. Let me know what you think about this article in the comments below.