By Margarita Nahapetyan
Everyone on this planet has experienced being nervous at one point in their lives. Being nervous is a normal emotional reaction to stressful, unknown, or intimidating circumstances. It is quite normal to feel nervous before an upcoming job interview, before your first date, and even before a doctor's appointment.
While the feeling of nervousness may be uncomfortable, the feeling is temporal and eventually one calms down. In general, nervousness is not something to be worried about because it is normal and transient. But for some people, nervousness becomes a problem that interferes with normal life. They are completely unable to cope with nervousness and it leaves them feeling bewildered, struck and defeated, when clear head and thinking are required. It is hard to make a good impression on someone with shaky and sweaty hands, stammering speech and blank mind. Nervousness can be a rare, circumstantially occurring problem, or it could be the result of another more serious disorder. In any way, there is help available, and if treated properly, nervousness can be managed.
First of all, it is important to remember that there is no treatment, if not for heavy drugs, that can make a person instantly to calm down and forget about his nervousness. The secret to achieving true calm, without tranquilizers, is in practice. The more you practise, take action and put yourself in situations that may make you nervous the more confident you become. This way you eventually feel more and more comfortable and less nervous. If you are getting ready for an important interview or a presentation at work, good thing to do is to practise your speech so much that you can do it automatically. That way, your lips and body will know what to do even if your mind gets blocked somehow. During the speech you need to concentrate on breathing slowly and deeply to avoid short quick breaths that are common for nervous people. When people talk slowly, they keep a nice steady supply of oxygen flowing through their blood stream. And it will not hurt to lower a voice just a little bit before speaking. It can prevent a nervous high pitch and you will have a better chance to maintain a normal speaking voice.
In many cases, nervous people spend time visualizing as to what may go wrong in a future situation. This can, of course, create a lot of nervousness. It can also give you the results you imagined, or feared. If you convince yourself that you will fail, then most probably you will. Much more helpful is to have pleasant thoughts and try to imagine only good outcome of a situation. Imagining everything in a negative way just will put you under more unnecessary stress and nervousness, and might contribute to a failure. And if you visualize things in an optimistic way, what will happen can change a lot about how you behave, how you will present it, how convincing you will sound, and generally how you feel in the situation. It always has a great effect on how the things actually go.
Try to avoid nervous hand gesticulation, too. Do not even try to wring your hands like a school child, there is no way you can benefit from that, if you haven't got a good use for your hands at the time, better to keep them hanging freely at your side.
There are some other things that can be useful for dealing with nervousness, too. Such as reasoning, for example. People should start asking themselves questions like what is the actual reason that makes them shy or even afraid of the upcoming event? Is someone going to die in case they fail? Will it even be something to remember in several years? Why am I actually afraid of my job interview? What is the worst that could happen to me? How you will possibly be affected in the long run? In most cases the answer will be - no one, nothing, or not that much. It is almost never a matter of life and death. And people have to understand - there is no good reason for that. If there is really something to say, why shouldn't they?
There are some fears that happen for a reason, and sometimes for a very good reason. It is quite understandable that people might be afraid of jumping with a parachute, for instance, but of speaking in public? It is absolutely irrational. Try to compare these two types of fear and maybe then it will be more clear to understand that everything you were nervous about before does not really make that much sense. So, asking yourself a few simple questions can put things into a healthier perspective and calm you down.
When people are nervous usually the last thing they want to do is talk to people. It is hard to find proper words and it makes them feel even worse. By force to do so a lot of nervous feelings can clear up. Talking to other people before the big event this "having to talk when nervous" scenario will be left ahead of time.
And, follow the great Shakespeare's advice "Screw your courage to the sticking place and we shall not fail."