Experiencing nervousness from time to time, be it due to starting a new job, meeting someone new, moving house, or being in a potentially dangerous situation, is a common occurrence for most. However, some people experience severe nervousness on a regular basis, where the overwhelming feeling of anxiety has a negative impact on their life, performance, mental health, and self-esteem.
Why Do We Feel Nervous?
Fight or flight
You may have heard the term “fight or flight” before, but what does it actually mean? Well, fight or flight is a physiological reaction that takes place when we are faced with something that is either physically or mentally terrifying. For instance, if you encounter a snake, your immediate reaction may be to run away, or you may try and capture it. Regardless of your reaction, your response is triggered by the release of hormones that tell your body to either deal with the threat or run away.
Nervousness vs. anxiety
The above then leads us to another important point – nervousness is not the same as having an anxiety disorder. Nervousness is considered to be a person's natural response to a stressful event; the feeling is temporary and does not prevent you from dealing with the things that make you nervous. On the other hand, an anxiety disorder is a psychiatric disorder, and unlike nervousness, it is a long-term condition where people experience severe, frequent feelings of distress, often without an obvious trigger.
In addition, a certain level of excitement is essential to help us feel alive and face/enjoy challenges head-on. However, for some people, especially those who struggle with anxiety, feeling nervous can at times be a part of their everyday life.
How to Stop Feeling Nervous
Evidently, nervousness is a normal response to certain situations. Here we offer you some helpful tips on how to stop feeling nervous. With a little practice, you will be able to perfect these techniques and keep your nerves under control:
Acknowledge your nervousness
In an uncomfortable situation, remind yourself that nervousness is normal, and it can even be helpful. The feelings of nervousness tend to come about when we are presented with new opportunities or challenges; however, it ultimately helps us grow. Evidently, nervousness is just your body's way of preparing you for what is to come, and letting go of your fears and accepting nervousness for what it is helps keep your nerves in check.
Realistically, it is impossible to prepare for every challenge that life brings our way; however, some challenges can be prepared for. For instance, you may have a meeting at work, where you may have to present your latest findings to a board of directors. Therefore, you may want to prepare yourself beforehand by practicing what you would like to say or putting a proper presentation in place to lessen your nerves.
Alternatively, you may get nervous when in new public spaces, so you can prepare for this by asking a trusted friend to accompany you on your trip.
Did you know that your own self-doubt and lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities are often to blame for the feeling of nervousness? Therefore, when faced with these negative thoughts, look for ways to shift from a negative mindset to a positive one.
Now, you may be wondering how you can get this done. You may want to begin by using positive self-talk, picturing how you would like things to happen, or remembering that everything can have some good outcomes, in the end, be it another opportunity or ability to learn. Whatever it may be, these tips will help with your nervous thoughts.
You can also do something that uplifts your mood, such as listening to your favorite song or watching your favorite movie.
Speak to someone
At times, speaking to someone you trust is important, especially when dealing with nervousness. Therefore, the next time you are feeling nervous, call a close friend or family member and share your feelings with them. By doing this, your trusted loved ones can help you put how you are feeling into perspective and help you see the situation in a rational way.
Sharing your thoughts with someone you trust often helps with reducing your stress levels, and it may, in turn, make you feel more positive and help you discover ways not to be nervous.
Adopt relaxation techniques
Did you know that to overcome nervousness, it is important to find ways that help you relax? Breathing exercises are one way of achieving ultimate relaxation while helping you manage your stress levels. Deep breathing works fast, and one of its benefits is that you can practice it at any place and time when you are feeling nervous.
Other breathing techniques include the 4-7-8 breathing technique and diaphragmatic breathing, which can be done even while driving. Also, if you happen to experience shaking when nervous, these relaxation techniques will serve as a remedy to your question of how to stop shaking when nervous.
The overall aim of counseling is to get a deeper understanding of one's personal issues and find the root cause of it all. It is important to note that getting counseling is not only for people with severe mental issues such as anxiety disorders; you can see a therapist to deal with anything that has an impact on your life, including your struggle with nervousness.
By doing this, with the help of your therapist, you will be able to dig deeper into your current struggle, which often results in reduced strain and further insight as to what coping mechanisms you can use to overcome your struggle with nervousness.
Now, if face-to-face counseling does not seem appealing to you, online counseling would be a good and comfortable alternative for you. There are many benefits of counseling online which include but are not limited to convenience, affordability, no travel cost, easy access – the list is endless.
Another benefit of this is that you can actually contact a therapist before an important event that makes you nervous; this then helps with nervousness and makes you feel more at ease.
The Bottom Line
Nervousness is evidently a temporary and natural response to a situation outside your comfort zone. However, it has the tendency of being extremely uncomfortable for those who are experiencing it at the time. On the bright side, once the nervousness subsides, you will feel better.
If the above self-help tips and any other additional help do not aid you in overcoming nervousness, we would recommend you consider online therapy. If you are interested in online therapy, we are here to help you.