ARE NERVES GETTING IN YOUR WAY?
Nerves is an interesting topic to discuss. If you’re new to anything usually you suffer from a small amount of nervous jitters, it’s inevitable – you’re entering the unknown and to most, that can be quite unnerving. There’s lots of reasons why you can feel nervous, it can be tricky sometimes to not let your nerves overcome you, so here’s some tips on keeping your nervousness under control.
Prepare (if possible)
Preparation in time and not at the last minute and doing the preparation well (aka not sloppy) will make a big difference. You’ll feel more sure of yourself and relaxed about what you have to do.
1) If you have an important meeting – do your homework so you know what might come up in the meeting
2) Sports game – attend practice and eat well before you play.
3) Going on a date – think of 2 – 3 interesting topics/questions you can bring up to keep the conversation flowing.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Remember that Dr. Pepper advert ….this question helps so much when the nervous pressure is rising and you’re starting to get more anxious. Rationalize. It will help you stop building a mountain out of a molehill.
Nervous about the tennis match. What’s the worst that could happen? You lose. The sky won’t fall on you, you might be upset cause you hit some silly shots, but you will live and life will go on!
Visualize a positive scenario
If your natural habit is to visualize negative circumstances, then it can be easy to get stuck in that mind set and get nervous!
Try thinking of only positive scenarios takes some work but like forming any habit it just needs to stay consistent.
Here’s a couple of ways that might help
1) Start noticing your negative thoughts, when you catch a negative thought, switch it to a positive one
2) Before the event that’s making you nervous, find somewhere quiet to sit, close your eyes and visualize the event working out in the best scenario.
Slow down and breathe with your belly
Right before you step into the situation that’s making you nervous, slow down. Walk a little slower to the place, perhaps even stop for a minute and stand still. Begin to take some deeper breaths than you usually do & breathe them into your belly not up into your chest. (If it helps, place your hand on your belly so you can literally feel your belly expand and deflate as you breathe those deeper breaths). Turn your attention just to your breathing, focusing on the in and the out breath only.
This will calm you down, make it easier to think normally again and that singular focus can draw you back into the present moment rather than future or past worries.
Remember: people don’t think about you and what you do that much really
You might be nervous because you think everyone is watching, judging, and thinking about you a whole lot. So, you get nervous and hold yourself back. A sobering realization is that people simply don’t care that much about what you do.
They have their own plate full with doing the same thing as you: focusing on themselves, on their pets, and kids and their own challenges at this moment in time.
This realization may make you feel a little less important. But it also sets you free a bit more to do what you want to do in life.
Tell yourself you are excited
Ask yourself in the moment “Are you nervous or are you excited?” This always helps, because both energies are similar. So try and harness the nervous energy into something that will help you.
If you’ve tried the tips above but are still struggling to minimize the nervousness, take a different approach.
When the nerves start bubbling up, tell yourself you are excited about the meeting, presentation, speech etc. This helps change your perspective on what is happening inside of you and can give you a boost of enthusiasm and openness for a short while.
That way you can go into the event or meeting in a more helpful mindset and emotional state. Once you’ve used the excited energy in a helpful way, you’ll begin to feel more relaxed and centered again.