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How Not to Be Nervous: 18 Calm Ways to Eliminate Nerves Instantly

Everyone suffers with nerves from time to time. But if you want to know how not to be nervous, here are 18 tips that could help calm your nerves.

how not to be nervous

Feeling nervous is something everyone goes through. It might be getting nervous because you go on a date, about to take a driving test, or sit for an exam. Maybe you suffer from a more general nervousness which makes you shy and find it difficult to engage with other people. Whatever the reason for your nerves, we have 18 tips for how not to be nervous.

Different levels of nervousness

There are different levels of nervousness, and it is natural to feel nervous in some situations. However, feeling nervous can be a real pain. The most annoying thing, it tends to creep up on us when we least want it to!

Situations such as going on a date, when you want to feel cool, calm, and collected, not a sweaty, shaking mess. Or if you give a speech or take a test, nerves make you forget everything. No matter how well-prepared you are. And they really get in the way of many important events!

Chronic nervousness can be truly debilitating for some people. It leaves them feeling incredibly anxious. It even interferes with their day to day lives.

If you suffer badly from nerves, it makes you avoid some situations where you know they arise. This means you don’t live the way you want to, find it difficult to make friends, communicate with the opposite sex, and, in the worst cases, find it hard to leave your own home. [Read: Social anxiety to social butterfly – How to be less awkward]

How not to be nervous – 18 tips to help ease nervousness

Signs of nervousness include a dry mouth, shaking, sweating, your heart beating fast, feeling out of control, stuttering, getting tongue tied, feeling dizzy or sick, and generally overwhelmed. It’s not fun or easy to be nervous. It’s important to employ some nerve calming tricks to help ease them and get rid of that jittery feeling pronto!

Here are 18 tips to help you with your nerves.

#1 Be prepared. Being prepared for whatever you face helps you feel more confident and keeps those nerves in check, be it an exam or a job interview. Anything you can be prepared for, make sure you are.

Don’t go into a test having done no revision, or go on a date with no plan. You help yourself easily by preparing thoroughly, so make sure that you do! [Read: How to overcome shyness – 16 quick fixes to transform your life]

#2 Do your research. If you know what to expect then you will be able to visualize yourself in certain situations which helps you feel calmer.

Find out about something before you must do it. If you head to a new place that you think might make you nervous, do some research about it before you go. If you get nervous traveling, why not read about it and put those fears to bed.

#3 Be positive. Having a positive mindset actually works wonders when it comes to keeping those anxious feelings at bay. It’s very easy. When going into a situation that you know makes you nervous, you immediately start to worry about it or to think that the worst will happen.

Try to focus on the positives instead. Think about how great you feel when you overcome your nerves. Imagine yourself acing that test, or having a brilliant time in a social situation. Positive visualization is half the battle! [Read: How to master positive self talk and banish negativity]

#4 Take deep breaths. If you feel the symptoms of nervousness approaching, it is a good idea to take some slow, deep breathes to try and calm down.

Breathing slowly and steadily helps lower your heart rate because your focus will all be concentrated rather than running away with you and allowing you to get even more worked up.

#5 Breathe into a paper bag. If you have a paper bag handy then breathing into one helps slow your racing heart and keep you calm.

#6 Have a mantra. If you convince yourself that you are going to be okay and not get too nervous, it is much more likely you’ll be able to keep those nerves in check. Come up with a positive mantra and repeat this to yourself. Whether out loud or in your head, the more you tell yourself you’ll be great, the more you start to believe it. [Read: How to calm down: 15 steps to put the crazy away]

#7 Get medical help. If your anxiety is bad, it is a good idea to visit your doctor and see how they can help you. While medication should be a last resort, there is plenty of advice your doctor can give you. It might be well worth a visit.

#8 Talk about it. Don’t keep your worries bottled up! If you feel nervous about something, talk to someone about it. A good friend or relative, someone you trust, are perfect to share your feelings with. They reassure you and make you feel more confident too.

#9 Distract yourself. If you feel nervous about something, try to completely distract yourself with something else. Often, by diverting our attention to something else we get over our nerves quickly. It might be listening to music, getting involved in an interesting conversation, or doing a completely different activity, but keeping yourself busy and distracted is a great way to get over those nerves. [Read: Socially awkward? 16 hacks to loosen up and live life]

#10 Do a countdown. Counting slowly backwards from 50 helps you concentrate on something other than your nerves and can be a good way to settle yourself. Why not give it a try?

#11 Exercise. Sometimes you just need to do something energetic to dispel those nerves. Head to the gym, go for a run, or just dance like crazy around your bedroom! Burning off that nervous energy really helps. [Read: 12 benefits of exercise on your mind, body, and libido]

#12 Meditate. Find a quiet spot to meditate. Try to empty all those chaotic, nervous thoughts from your head. You could even try a class! Yoga, mindfulness, and other relaxation techniques could also be useful.

#13 Get a massage. Sometimes you just need a spot of pampering to help you relax and unwind. Why not treat yourself to a luxurious massage to help you feel less nervous?

#14 Go for a walk. Take a hearty stroll, ideally somewhere beautiful like the beach or into the countryside. Fresh air and great views give you an instant sense of calm.

#15 Look at calming images. Some evidence shows looking at images of calm scenes, a beautiful landscape, a cute animal, set off positive receptors in your brain. Immediately making you feel more relaxed and happy!

#16 Get more sleep. Getting a proper night’s sleep leaves you refreshed and rested. Lack of sleep only makes you feel more nervous and jittery. Make sure you get plenty of shut-eye! [Read: Sabotaging your happiness –  12 ways you may be ruining your own life]

#17 Lay off the caffeine. Overdosing on caffeine raises your heart rate, and makes you feel jittery too. If you are nervous, it’s a good idea to steer clear! Try soothing, calming drinks such as chamomile tea instead.

#18 Write it down. Keep a journal and write your innermost thoughts in it. Sometimes writing down what you worry about is a great release and helps you really express yourself and get to the root cause of the problem. Once you see your words on the page, put it all in perspective more easily too!

[Read: The meaning of YOLO: 15 ways to live your life to the fullest]

So there you have it. Next time you feel stressed out, worried, and nervous give some of these useful tips on how not to be nervous a try and see if they work for you!

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Bethany Locke
Bethany was born and raised in Scotland and now resides in Brighton where she lives with her partner and rather disobedient cocker spaniel pup. She works as a f...
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