How to Not Get Nervous

Four Methods:Trying Calming ExercisesApproaching Your Nervousness RationallyUnderstanding the Source of Your NervousnessSeeking Medical Help

If your heart is beating so loudly you can barely hear yourself think or your palms are sweaty and your mouth feels dry, you're probably nervous. Being nervous is a normal reaction that all humans have to challenging events. However, when it's paralyzing, you should find a way to minimize it. Although it's hard to shake nervousness, there are several different approaches you can take to calm your mind and regulate your emotional state. Try some of the techniques below to see what works for you.

Method 1
Trying Calming Exercises

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    Establish a breathing routine. Yoga practitioners around the world manipulate their breathing patterns every day in an effort to calm the mind. Long, peaceful breaths cue our minds and bodies that everything is okay. Short, harsh breaths do the opposite. By breathing correctly, you can tell your body how to feel.
    • Close your eyes and slow down your breathing rate to relax your mind and your body.
    • You can regulate your breath by counting to a certain number or repeating "Now I breathe in, now I breathe out."
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    Go to your "happy place" or visualize success. Happy Gilmore wasn't full of it when he used a visualization technique to quell his anger before making a golf shot. You can use a "happy place" visualization to remove yourself from a place of nervousness and visit a stress-free place of happiness, whether it be a shopping mall or a deserted beach.
    • Visualize yourself succeeding in the thing that is making you nervous. Positive visualizations can turn into actual successes if you truly believe that you can succeed.
    • Remember to think happy thoughts and utilize your imagination to imagine positive rather than negative situations.
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    Develop a mantra. A mantra is a phrase or saying that is repeated over and over either aloud or in one's mind as a meditative exercise. Come up with words that inspire or calm you and repeat them every time your nervousness starts to creep up. It can be helpful to close your eyes while chanting a mantra. These mantras can consist of phrases like, "You can do it!", or "You got this!"
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    Meditate or perform a body scan. Meditation, though difficult to master, is an awesome way to calm your nervousness. Find a quiet place, take a comfortable seat or lie on the ground, and attempt to notice your thoughts without bias or judgement.
    • If you find it too difficult to entirely clear your mind, try a body scan instead where you focus your attention to one part of your body at a time.
    • Start by bringing your attention to your feet and slowly scan up the body, paying attention to how you feel at each stage.[1]
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    Write down your nervous thoughts. Instead of trying to banish nervous thoughts or feelings, take the time to feel them and then let them go. By writing down why you are nervous and how you are feeling, you can confront your nervousness rather than trying to ignore it altogether. Once you've written down your feelings, either throw the paper away as a symbolic gesture or keep it to consider it during the day.[2]
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    Play soothing music. Make a playlist of music that soothes and calms you. When nervous feelings arise, listen to your playlist and allow yourself to sink into the music.
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    Drink water. Calm your nervous system and nourish your body by drinking water. While you should always be drinking an adequate amount of water, doing so at the time you experience nervousness can be very helpful.
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    Massage your temples. Close your eyes and use your middle finger to massage your temples on the side of your eyes. Your temples are pressure points and massaging them can be very relaxing and stress-relieving.
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    Exercise or take up yoga and/or tai chi. Getting exercise is one of the best things you can do to reset your mind and body and relieve the jitters. If you are particularly nervous about an upcoming work presentation or a date with your beautiful neighbor, log at least 30 minutes of cardio activity per day.
    • Yoga is not only a physical practice but an intensely mental practice that also teaches you to regulate your breathing. Try a yoga class or follow an at-home instruction to see if it helps calm your mind.
    • Take up tai chi. Tai chi is a non-competitive series of flowing body motions that are designed to relax the body and mind and channel energy to positive outcomes.
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    Make sure you are getting enough sleep and are eating a healthy diet. Your diet and sleep patterns not only affect your overall health, but they can affect your stress-level, and thus your tendency to get nervous, as well. Aim to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night and do your best to avoid fatty, greasy, and sugary foods.

Method 2
Approaching Your Nervousness Rationally

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    Accept uncertainty. Some people have a difficult time not trying to control every aspect of their life. Release your controlling grip and tell yourself that there are some things you just can't predict. While you can steer your life in a certain direction, you'll inevitably take a few wrong turns or be thrown off course by a third party. And hey, that's ok!
    • If life were all planned out, it'd be boring as all get out. It's the uncertainty that makes it worth living! If this is an issue for you, consciously put uncertainty in a positive light -- what little surprises will happily greet you today?
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    Focus on the present instead of living in the past or future. What's done is done and what hasn't happened yet, well, hasn't happened. Don't stress yourself out by dwelling on an embarrassing moment or expecting one to happen.
    • There is such a thing as a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you concentrate on messing up your big speech tomorrow, you might end up messing up your big speech tomorrow. Focusing on the now grounds you in what's going on and lets you keep a level head.
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    Practice being comfortable in situations that make you nervous. You can't avoid everything, but by practicing being in uncomfortable situations, you can grow to ease your nerves over time. If getting up on a stage in front of a crowd is something that makes you intensely nervous, try practicing on smaller stages alone before working your way up to bigger stages.
    • Foster a support group of family and friends that will help you meet those challenges with poise.
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    Imagine the person who is making you nervous in a vulnerable situation. This is the old "imagine the crowd in their underwear" trick, but it can actually work! Even though your boss might be extremely intimidating, tell yourself that s/he is only just another human being. S/he too probably feels nervous at times and has been in several vulnerable situations before.
    • The old adage, "Everybody poops" is an old adage for a reason!
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    Prepare yourself for good days and bad days. Even if you adopt several relaxation techniques into your daily routine, there will still be days when the nervousness will win. Prepare yourself for both success and failure and take each step day by day.

Method 3
Understanding the Source of Your Nervousness

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    Evaluate the rationality of your nervousness. Are you feeling nervous about something that you can solve or are you nervous about something beyond your control?
    • If you are nervous about a possible situation rather than an actual one, tell yourself that it is beyond your control.[3] What's the point in being nervous about something that's going to happen either way? Nervous about the apocalypse coming? Easy to see that that's pointless -- how is your problem different?
    • If your problem is actual and solvable, take action to find possible solutions. For example, if you are nervous about making your rent payment on time, call your landlord and ask about a potential extension.
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    Let go of the idea that your nervousness has positive effects. Many people develop a routine of extreme nervousness because they think that it is doing them some good or pushing them to perform[4]. But in the end, being nervous is just time wasted that you could have spent feeling, well, almost anything else!
    • Feeling nervous that a worst-case scenario is about to happen to you sometime in the near future doesn't lead to any positive outcomes. You won't be any more prepared and you'll have lost that precious time to enjoy yourself.
    • Approach your nervousness rationally and don't allow your body to be controlled by nervous thoughts. Assert your rational mind and let the nervousness know who's boss. P.S. -- It's you.
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    Remember that it's natural to get nervous. Try to practice self-compassion and recognize that you are bound to be nervous at some points in your life.

Method 4
Seeking Medical Help

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    Recognize whether or not your nervousness is negatively impacting your life. You may be jeopardizing relationships simply as a result of your nervousness.
    • If your nervousness prevents you from run-of-the-mill daily activities, you may be anxious. Being nervous when it comes to life's challenges is healthy and normal, but if you're nervous and you don't why, there may be a bigger problem at hand.
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    Talk to a doctor about potential anti-anxiety medications. If your nervousness is so intense that it causes panic attacks, you may be a potential candidate for anti-anxiety medication. While anxiety medicine won't cure your tendency to feel nervous, it will ease your nervousness temporarily.
    • Anti-anxiety medication may cause undesirable and dangerous side-effects, including addiction and depression. Consider these issues and exhaust other options before resorting to medication.
    • Popular anti-anxiety medications include benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and beta-blockers. Ask your doctor which medication is right for you.
    • Most anti-anxiety medications kick-in about 30 minutes after ingestion.[5]
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    Hire a psychotherapist. Many people find it particularly helpful to talk to a professional therapist about their nervousness or anxiety. Establish whether group or individual counseling is right for you and make an appointment to speak with a therapist.


  • Be aware that everybody messes up at some point. If you say or do something embarrassing in front of people, try to let it go and give yourself a break.
  • Always take deep breaths and relax when nervous feelings start to arise.
  • Reward yourself for successfully getting through situations that made you nervous.
  • Give yourself a pep talk before hand. Say 'I can do this' ' I will not back down ', etc.
  • Even if you don't feel confident, fake it. The more assertive you are in your demeanor, the more serious people will take you.
  • Ask friends about what they do to not get nervous and see if they have any promising techniques up their sleeves.
  • Focus on the task at hand.
  • Practice eye contact with a picture of someone.


  • If you are constantly feeling tense, can't control your worries, can't relax, or have trouble falling asleep, you may be experiencing anxiety[6]. Consider learning how to deal with anxiety.

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