How to not be nervous (Tips)

How to not be nervous

In this guide we will discuss “how to not be nervous”, why do we get nervous in the first place and, we will talk about some tips on how to cope with being nervous.

How to not be nervous: Why do we get nervous?

If you are wondering “How to not be nervous” it means you have already experienced how your heart rate increases, your feel sweaty palms, shaky voice, feeling nauseous and wanting to get out of the situation as fast as you can. Yes, this (up to a point) is very normal, and we all have experienced it at some point in our lives.

But what happens if you can’t seem to be able to manage your nerves or if feeling nervous prevents you from doing things you want or need to do?  

We all would like practical strategies we could use in our daily lives to stop feeling nervous about many things or situations.

As you may probably know, and if you don’t then you will find this very useful, our brains are wired and programmed in a way that helps us sense and react danger to keep us safe, but some situations that do not have this particular characteristic (not being life threatening or dangerous) are still perceived as such, and we tend to react the same way as if they were. 

How to not be nervous (Tips)

For instance, let’s think about your neighbour’s growling unchained dog.

There is a possibility that it would bite you or cause a lot of harm, being considered a real threat and danger.

However, when you are confronted with a job interview, you tend to have the same reaction but what is the potential threat here?

The interviewer?, something at the office where you are being interviewed at?, the polite and kind secretary at the lobby that you interacted with a few minutes ago? 

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[ 10 signs of hidden Anxiety ] video

Well, at this point you may have answered how there is no threat whatsoever but our brains do perceive it as such and reacts the same way it would with the unchained dog.

Moreover, we could feel the same way if we are having a first date with someone we like, or we could feel nervous around a girl, during a job interview or even when  presenting in front of an audience. 

Tip 1: Breeeeeathe

People normally underestimate the power of breathing, why?

Because it sounds so simple that we think “How didn’t I think about it in the first place?.

Well, when we are in our alert mode, we need more oxygen to go through our bodies and prepare us for action.

However, if we STOP and take deep breaths when we start feeling how anxiety is building up we will tell our body there is actually nothing to be afraid of.

Our body will start “deactivating” physiologically, and we will start feeling calmer and less agitated.

There are many guided breathing exercises out there and there are even relaxation techniques that can help you manage feeling nervous or anxious. 

In addition, you could establish a breathing routine where learning how to manipulate breathing patterns every day can play to your advantage when feeling anxious or nervous.

You can try closing your eyes and breathing in through your nose and exhaling through your mouth slowly. 

Tip 2: Overcoming your fear by practising!

Yes, as we all know, practice makes perfect!

So rehearsing as much as possible for example if you have a big presentation and you are not feeling confident enough then, try rehearsing as much as possible in front of a mirror or in front of relatives/friends and ask them to provide feedback about your presentation. 

According to Reach Out “When you practise something, you strengthen the connections in your brain. The stronger those connections are, the more skilled you become at doing it.” 

However, you may be thinking “how do I practice or rehearse for my first date with someone I just met?”, well, the idea basically that you need to be yourself but if you feel more in control over the situation you could also rehearse talking about certain topics your potential date could be interested about or you could do some role plays with a friend about possible scenarios that could are likely to happen and you feel the most nervous about.

How to not be nervous (Tips)

Tip 3: Challenge your thoughts

When we are nervous we go into automatic “panic mode” thinking about the worst things that could happen due to “uncertainty”.

For instance, if you are presenting in front of an audience you start thinking “Oh, I am sure I will forget part of what I am saying or I will go totally blank”.

OK, it is a possibility but what can you do to anticipate this?

Well, you could have your PowerPoint slides with keywords so you can catch up with what you were saying and continue with your speech or you could have some notes written down also with keywords so you can have a successful comeback!

In addition, let’s think about challenging your thought.

For instance, if you do forget what you were saying what is the worst thing about that?

People freeze or forget what they were saying all the time, it is not only you so you could think “it is not the end of the world, this is normal”.

Note: you may find useful writing your thoughts down and analysing them with the possible scenarios and contrasting them with facts and real life.

You will see how “it wasn’t as bad you thought”. 

Tip 4: Go to your happy place!

Doing visualization exercises about your happy place will help you feel calm and relax.

If you do not have a happy or safe place then we recommend you to create one or think about a place you have been before that really makes you feel happy, relaxed and calm. 

Try to visualize yourself succeeding in what really makes you nervous, close your eyes and hear the applauses from the audience you are presenting or the success you had after dating that end up with the perfect kiss.

If you truly believe and you are confident you will succeed you CAN and WILL succeed. 

How to not be nervous (Tips)

Tip 5: Flip the switch from nervous to excitement!

Yes, you probably think we are crazy but scientifically speaking feeling anxious has more in common with feeling excitement than you could have ever imagined, why? Because they have virtually the same physical signs.

Think about it for a moment, when you feel nervous your heart wants to get out of your chest, your breathing rate increments and you may even have a tingling sensation.

Now, think about when you have felt excited… see? Feeling exactly the same.

Next time you are feeling nervous flip the switch by saying to yourself “I feel excited” and notice how different your behaviour will be when facing a situation that makes you feel nervous/anxious.

Why is this blog about how to not be nervous important?

Remember that when thinking “How not to be nervous” we have to consider how normal it is to feel anxious or nervous when facing some situations such as meeting someone for the first time, presenting in front of an audience, attending a job interview, etc.

The idea is not to fight the nervousness but to understand what we are feeling and how we could manage it effectively.

As we have discussed, breathing is one of the most important things we could do when we feel our anxiety building up, also if possible, practising and anticipating to the possible scenarios can help us when we face uncertainty.

In addition, if we feel our nervousness or anxiety is controlling our lives or is impacting our daily activities negatively then it is important to ask for help.

Many people also show an interest in knowing whether u can fail a lie detector test your’re nervous.

For this matter, we can say that this blog is very helpful because if you cope with your nervousness, you can never fail in life.

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How to not be nervous?

How do I calm my nerves?

To calm your nerves you could start by taking long and deep breaths.

Also, do not fight the anxiety but acknowledge it and think about how normal it is to feel how you are feeling challenging your thoughts and contrasting them with facts and reality.

In addition, you could do some visualization exercises where you visualize a place where you feel calm and relaxed. 

How can I calm my anxiety nerves?

To calm your anxiety nerve you need to start by:

– Taking deep breaths, focus on your breathing and notice how the physical symptoms subside.

– Accept and acknowledge you are anxious, instead of fighting you anxiety.

– Challenge your thoughts when they are presented to you. 
Use a calming visualization of your “safe place”.

– Observe but without judging.

– Use positive and encouraging self-talk.

– Focus on the here and now, the present moment.

Why do I get nervous so easily?

You could get nervous so easily depending partly on your personality traits, genetic and previous experiences.

Feeling anxious or scared is a reaction that sends a signal from your brain to the rest of your body to release stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) to prepare you to face a potential threat.

This is why you experience all those physical symptoms such as an increased heart rate, sweating, muscle tension, etc.

What pills calm your nerves?

There are natural herbal remedies that can help you calm your nerves.

However, there are also anti-anxiety medications (that need to be prescribed by your doctor) that help to reduce or relieving the anxiety symptoms.

These type of medication is also known as benzodiazepine such as alprazolam, clonazepam, chlordiazepoxide, etc., prescribed when your anxiety is too overwhelming and is significantly impacting your life but consider, before starting any treatment, that all medicines have side effects.

How do you clear your mind?

You can clear your mind by:

– Making a list of tasks and steps, giving priority from top to bottom.

– Write. Keeping a diary, a journal or a blog can be very useful when clearing your mind or simply keeping your mind busy.

– Get organized. 

– Implement positive thinking and try to keep post-it notes with encouraging thoughts and statements.

– Learn how to say no. when we say yes all the time, we keep thinking about a potential uncomfortable situation that we may have in the future, which stays stuck in our minds.

– Try mindful meditation but avoid any interruptions.
Seek professional help if you feel too overwhelmed or frustrated.

Recommended reading

  • The Power of Now
  • Anxiety: Panicking About Panic
  • Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry 
  • The Anxiety Journal: Exercises to soothe stress and eliminate anxiety wherever you are
  • The Anxiety Workbook: 21 Ways To Declutter And Unfu*k Your Mind, End Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Fear, Overthinking And Regain Control Over Your Life

References 

Au.rachout.com: “How to stop being nervous”

Chernyak, P. (2020, Feb.) How to Not Get Nervous. Retrieved from WikiHow.com.

Edwards, V. (n.d.) How to Overcome Your Social Anxiety: 6 Tips you can Use Now. Retrieved from Scienceofpeople.com.

How to not be nervous (Tips)

How to not be nervous (Tips)

Daniela Paez

Daniela Paez is a Clinical Psychologist with an MSc. In Clinical Neuropsychology from Bangor University. She has vast experience in working with children with disabilities, adolescents and their families, in extreme conditions of poverty and vulnerability. Additionally, she owns a private practice where she provides neuropsychological evaluation for children and adults, and treatment for mood disorders, anxiety, couple therapy, among other conditions.