It is natural to feel nervous when you are about to perform in public. The nervousness is your body’s way of helping you to do your best. Your body releases stress hormones that help you stay focused. However, the hormones give a “red alert” to others if the stress and worry is too much. The feeling causes you to get nervous, feel sweaty or cold, and fail to think straight. Read on and learn how to calm your nerves down.
How to Control Nerves
Write Things Down
The extent to which your brain wants to remember your thoughts leads to an increase in the frequency of nervous thoughts. The mind does not want to forget important things and forces you to focus on them more. Writing transfers the information from your brain to a paper or journal, which is a permanent place. Writing reduces the need in your mind to remember.
Try Relaxation Exercises
Relaxation strategies and exercises require practice which can be very effective in controlling nervousness. You must learn how to do the exercises correctly to get the best results. The most popular relaxation exercises include:
Progressive muscle relaxation
Talk About It
Having a friend or anyone else to talk to helps you to detach from a situation and think objectively. Talk to a friend when you are nervous about a meeting with someone and then analyze the outcome of the meeting after. Talking to a friend helps you think rationally or from an outsider’s perspective. Therapy can also help you control your nerves because it targets and cures the negative thought processes.
You can limit nervous thoughts by distracting yourself before non-optional events that will inevitably make you nervous. As you focus on something that does not make you nervous, you limit your nerves from intensifying as your event approach. Combinations of mental distractions such as art or crafts and watching TV distract your senses from focusing on negative thoughts.
Determine What to Say Beforehand
You can learn how to control your nerves before a public presentation by preparing adequately. Determine what you will say and how you will say it to avoid worrying and thinking during the presentation. If you have an upcoming job interview, consider the questions the interviewer may ask beforehand. Besides, always be prepared and confident.
Wear Fit Comfortable Clothes
You feel great when you look great. When you dress well, you show that you respect yourself and those around you. You will feel less nervous and more confident when you wear well-fitted clothes that show your personal style and taste.
Extra practice boosts our abilities and confidence. Imagine yourself meeting and handling the situation that makes you nervous. Visualize yourself meeting the goals for that situation confidently and successfully. Try not to plan everything to the small detail because you may hold yourself to that situation and when something unexpected happens, you may lose your head completely. Nervousness will not just disappear but its duration throughout the event will reduce fast with experience.
Nervousness is energy production or adrenaline pumping. Our minds have tons of stressful ideas and feelings about a situation that is making us nervous. You may feel like you are not good enough to handle or control the situation. You may not know to how control your nerves or stop the racing thoughts but you can replace those thoughts with affirmations. You can use the following affirmative statements to replace negative thoughts:
“I can handle the situation.”
“I am the most qualified candidate for this position.”
“They want me to pass the test and I will pass.”
“I am well equipped to give this performance and I will perform well.”
Focus on the Content
Individuals at a high risk of nervousness focus more on themselves than what they are doing. Your nervousness levels may double when you believe that the cause of your nervousness such as a test or an interview reflects your potential. Replace such thoughts about your performance and other people’s thoughts towards you with rehearsals of the task you are trying to do. For instance, you can read the material for the exam or the line of music piece you are about to play, instead of thinking about how nervous you are.
Get Over Perfectionism
Rehearsing your speech is necessary but you must be careful that you do not obsess over it. You can learn how to control your nerves by avoiding perfectionism. You will stress yourself more when you rehearse or prepare beyond the point of diminishing returns. Obsession is not preparation but a disconnection and engagement in a distracting activity. You can prepare to give a new presentation at least three times, prepare the day before, and then a few hours before giving the presentation.