7 Simple Habits to Overcome your Nerves
If you’re like me, then you frequently get nervous. I get nervous for a lot of things - meeting friends, taking presentations, about to race in a competition or even going on a date. Sometimes I can handle it, sometimes I can’t. It depends how much I let the pressure build up.
I get a nervous fidget, sweaty palms, butterflies in your tummy and you no longer feel like yourself. The inner calmness you normally feel has flown out the window.
But what can you do about it? You can’t think of a lame excuse and cancel (although I have done this so many times) and you can’t whiz through the event while not being your best self.
A few years ago I stumbled across this blog post that has strategies and habits to help me combat the nerves.
Prepare if possible
I know it’s obvious, but doing your preparation in time (without trying to do it perfectly) can make a massive difference. You’ll feel more sure of yourself and relaxed about what you are about to do.
- If you have an important meeting, do your homework so you know what will or may come up in the meeting.
- If you have a date, try to think of 2-3 interesting topics/questions to bring up in case the conversation stops.
- If you have a job interview, think about what they may ask you and figure out some good answers.
Ask yourself: what’s the worst that could happen?
Visualise in a positive way.
- Lie down in your bed or sit down somewhere and close your eyes.
- In your mind see how great the situation will unfold - see yourself being positive, open and having a wonderful time with a smile on your face.
- Visualise that it has already happened - that it is all over with the result you want. This actually works and will get you into a good, confident and relaxed headspace before even stepping into that conference room, class room or pub.
Slow down and breathe with your tummy.
A few minutes before you step into the situation that makes your nervous slow down. Walk slower to the meeting place. Move slower. Even stop for a minute if you like and stand still. Then breathe through your nose, take deeper breaths and breathe with your tummy (not your chest). Focus on just your slow in and out breaths for a minute or two.
This will calm you down, make it easier to think normally again and that singular focus can draw you back into this moment again rather than past failures or future worries.
Meeting new people? pretend you’re meeting a friend.
If you still feel nervous and you’re going into a social situation, this will help. Pretend you are meeting your best friend. You’ll naturally slip into a much more relaxed, comfortable, confident and enjoyable state. This will let the conversation flow more naturally, without thinking too much - similar to how you are with your friends.
Keep in mind: people don’t think about you and what you do that much.
Sometimes it feels like everyone is watching, judging and thinking about you a whole lot. And so you get nervous or hold yourself back in life. But realistically - people simply don’t care that much about what you do. Just because you may think a lot about what you do and say doesn’t mean that others do too. They have their own plate full with doing the same thing as you: focusing on themselves, on their pets, friends, loved ones and their own challenges.
When you realise this you feel a little less important, but it also sets you free to do what you want in life.
Tell yourself that you are excited.
Harness the nervous energy into something that will help you. If you cannot minimise the nerves in some situations by using these tips, then take a different approach. When the nerves bubble up, tell yourself that you are excited. This helps you to change perspective on what is happening inside of you and I have found that it helps me to get a boost of enthusiasm and openness for a short while.
Use your nerves to help you.