Everyone experiences nervousness at one time or another. It feels like a combination of anxiety, dread, and excitement all at once. Your palms may get sweaty, your heart rate may increase, and you may feel that fluttery nervous stomach feeling.
Anything that causes apprehension or fear can lead to feelings of nervousness. They can be brought on by good experiences and negative ones, such as a first date, a job interview, or attending a funeral.
Nervousness is a common feeling brought on by your body’s stress response. This involves series of hormonal and physiological responses that help prepare you to handle a perceived or imagined threat.
Your body prepares to fight or flee a threat by boosting adrenaline production. Almost instantly, your heart begins to beat faster, your blood pressure rises, and your breathing quickens, increasing your alertness and energy.
This response can result in feelings of nervousness and anxiety.
Nervousness is a natural response to a stressful event. It’s temporary and resolves once the stress has passed. It can be controlled, even if you’re someone who is more prone to nervous feelings.
While nervousness is a common symptom of anxiety disorders, they’re not the same thing.
Anxiety disorders are psychiatric disorders that develop from a number of complex factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, and life events. Anxiety disorders are long-lasting and uncontrollable without treatment.
People with an anxiety disorder often experience severe feelings of nervousness or worry. These feelings can come on frequently and without an obvious stressor.
People may also experience a number of pronounced physical and mental symptoms that impact their ability to function.
symptoms of anxiety disorders
Nervousness is a normal reaction to certain situations. With these tips and a little practice, you can learn how to keep your nerves from getting the better of you.
Don’t be afraid of nervousness
In an uncomfortable situation, remind yourself that nervousness is normal, and it can even be helpful.
Most of us feel this way when presented with new challenges and opportunities. Ultimately, these experiences help us grow.
Nervousness is your body’s way of preparing you for what’s coming, which is usually something that’s outside your comfort zone. Letting go of your fear and accepting that it’s a completely natural experience can help keep your nerves in check.
You can’t always predict or plan for everything that life throws your way. However, there are some work and social situations that you can prepare for in advance. These include:
- practicing for a scheduled work presentation or meeting
- having a friend or loved one accompany you to an event or appointment
- allowing extra time to get ready for work, dates, or other social events
Get into a positive headspace
A lack of confidence or worrying that you’ll mess up are often to blame for nervousness. When you begin to doubt your abilities, find ways to get yourself into a more positive frame of mind.
To do this, use positive self-talk or envision your desired outcome. Putting on an uplifting song or movie can also work wonders.
Talk to someone
Call your mom, your best friend, or anyone else you trust. Sharing your feelings with someone you feel comfortable with helps put things in perspective. They can help you see the situation in a more rational light.
A 2014 study showed that sharing your feelings with someone else, especially someone who’s been through a similar situation, can reduce stress and make you feel more positive.
Try a relaxation technique
Learning to relax is important for overcoming nervousness and managing stress in general. Breathing exercises are just one way to practice relaxation.
Deep breathing works quickly, and it can be practiced at any time and any place you feel nervous. There are different types of breathing exercises that have been shown to work. These include the 4-7-8 breathing technique and diaphragmatic breathing.
ways to cope with stress
Nervousness is a perfectly natural response to a new experience or a situation that’s outside of your comfort zone. While uncomfortable, the feeling is only temporary, and you’ll feel better once the cause of your nervousness is over.
You can work to overcome your nervousness with some simple relaxation exercises or preparing in advance for situations that can take you out of your comfort zone.