Whether triggered by a public speaking engagement or a first date, feelings of anxiety and nervousness can be downright crippling to those who experience them. They may even make you want to back down and cancel your date, interview, or appointment.
Although we can’t stop these feelings from arising, there are some tricks we can use to overcome them when they do show up. Here are five ways to overcome those awful feelings of anxiety and nervousness!
1. Be prepared
Preparing thoroughly ahead of time will make whatever situation you’re confronting seem more manageable. If you’re giving a speech, write it and practice delivering it in front of family members, a colleague, or a friend. If you’re going on a date, plan what you will wear and how long you want to take to get ready. You can even think of potential topics to discuss and questions to ask!
Being well prepared will make you feel more confident and less nervous in any situation, as you’ll feel more able to anticipate what’s coming.
2. Visualize yourself succeeding
Imagining the bad things that are going to happen is what makes us feel nervous and anxious in the first place. Put this stressful reel of images to an end by visualizing yourself succeeding instead!
To do this, find a relaxed position—you can be seated or lying down. Imagine the scenario unfolding exactly as you like from beginning to end. Feel how in control you are of the entire situation. You can do this once before the event, or if it’s a big occasion, every day the week leading up to it!
3. Talk to someone you trust
Sometimes, we just can’t bring ourselves out of our own anxiety, negativity, or nervousness. When this happens, the objective perspective of someone we trust can be of immense help. Share your feelings with a best friend, spouse, or family member. Being outside the situation, they may be able to help you see how unfounded your fears probably are.
4. Take deep breaths
If you find your worries about the situation carrying you away and making it difficult for you to calmly focus on the present situation at hand, then take some time to yourself before the big event to practice deep breathing.
Find a spot where you can close your eyes, be alone, and turn your attention to your breath. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply through your nose, feeling your belly rise on your inhalation and fall on your exhalation. Do this 10 times, or until you feel calmer and more focused.
5. Let yourself feel excited!
Studies have shown that some of that nervous energy can actually help you perform better if you can harness it, feel positive, and focus it on the task at hand. If you’re giving a speech, focus on how that energy will allow you to deliver it enthusiastically and energetically. If you’re preparing for an interview, realize that your energy will show how excited you are about the job.
If you’re getting ready for a date and you feel nervous, that’s good too! It probably means you’re actually interested in the person. Find positive ways to channel your nervous energy, and you’ll automatically feel more excited and prepared.
Next time you feel like your nervous energy is getting the best of you, remember that you don’t need to cancel anything or retreat inside yourself. Simply prepare thoroughly, visualize your success, acknowledge your nervousness—and then turn it into excitement! You’ll do great!
-The Alternative Daily