Stop Nervousness and Use It to Your Advantage

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There’s nothing worse than feeling jumpy, jittery, and nervous.  Especially in situations where you need to be calm, cool and collected.  At one time or another we will all become nervous about something.  The challenge we face is to not let the nervousness determine how a situation will turn out.Controlling the feeling of being nervous is important in so many ways. Nervousness not only affects your ability to perform, but it also influences the way other people perceive you.  And that is a big deal especially if ever intend on ever come in contact with another human being.  You, do intend on being around humans right?  Great!
If you want to accomplish anything in life, you will come across situations that make you nervous.  The nervousness may come from unfamiliarity with a situation, lack of confidence in your ability, or many other reasons. In this article I will show you how to control nervousness and use it to your advantage.
There are many situations that may make people nervous. Here are  a few of the more common ones.

-Public speaking

-Approaching someone you are attracted to

-Job interviews

-Nervous around strangers

-Meeting new people

-Tests, exams, and performance reviews

Change the Mood of the RoomOne of the ways to change the inside feeling of being nervous is to change the outside atmosphere.  If the mood of the people around you is tense and nervous, then you will tend to be the same way.  Focus on trying to relax the people around you and you will begin to relax.
Years ago, I was sitting in the lobby of a building where I was going to be interviewed for a job.  We were all sitting quietly and it was clear that the other people waiting were nervous about their interview.  While waiting, I began talking to the receptionist and the other people waiting to be interviewed for other jobs within the company.  After about 5 minutes we were all talking comfortably and relaxed.
I got the job and I would often see those same people that had the interview around the building and we would talk about that day.  They would mention how nervous they were at first but after a while, they were able to relax.  Change the mood of the room by conversing and making jokes and you will soon begin to also relax.


Turn Stress into Excitement

When people are in a new situation there is always a level of anxiety or stress.  However all stress is not bad stress.  Being excited is a type of stress called eustress which is a positive type of stress.  While being nervous can make you react badly to your situation, eustress can motivate you and boost your performance.

Athletes do this all of the time.  Before a big game or competition, athletes will often use their nervous energy to boost their athletic performance.  In high school I would always worry before a basketball game.  I would wonder, “what if I miss all of my shots tonight?  What if I every time I try to dribble the ball, it gets stolen?”

Then, I would begin to think of what I could do to prevent those things from happening.  The more solutions that I came up with, the more excited I would become.  That excitement made me perform better and more relaxed.

Good things happen when you are excited about a situation.  If you can turn your stress and nervousness into excitement, you will actually begin to look forward to doing things that you used to be nervous about.

Anticipate Your NervesHave you ever been in a car that is going to make a sharp turn?  When this happens, we naturally lean in anticipation for the turn.  G-forces pull us in one direction so we usually will attempt to move in the opposite direction.  When you know that you will be entering a situation that makes you nervous; combat it by anticipating the nervousness.
There are two ways to do this; the first is to prepare for the event or circumstance that makes you nervous by rehearsing.  Be honest with yourself about your tendency to be nervous.  Then place yourself in that situation as if it were really happing.  That way, the next time you are in that situation you will know how to handle it.
The second way of doing this is by exaggerating the symptoms.  If your hands start to shake when you are nervous, try to make them shake more.  If you tend to speak too fast, try speaking as fast as you can.  When you do this, you are able to control the symptom.  When you amplify the symptoms, you will notice that you are doing them less.


Find a Good Feeling

It is hard to be nervous when you are feeling good; and laughing feels good. Watch, read or listen to something that you think is funny every morning.  It can be on Youtube, in the newspaper, or on television.  You could also download something funny onto your iPod so that you can take it with you.  Starting your day with something that makes you laugh gives your day a good start and also gives something that you can remember later that will make you laugh.
Also, learn to laugh at yourself.  Taking yourself too seriously may increase your anxiety and make it harder for you to relax. When you learn to laugh at yourself, you are able to release some of the pressure that builds up.


Avoid Making Things Worse

When dealing with nervousness, you can sometimes be your own worst enemy.  If you know you tend to be nervous or anxious in certain situations, try not to make things worse by doing things that magnify nervous symptoms.

When nervousness strikes, people have the sometimes will do things that they think are helping them but are actually making the situation worse.

Dwelling on the Negative
-Do not think too much about what you are doing wrong.  Let those negative thoughts go and try to find inspiration to replace those thoughts.

Caffeine-This stimulate can agitate nervous symptoms making it harder for you to relax and stay calm.

Cigarettes-High amounts of nicotine in the system can cause you to feel on edge.  There are also nervous withdrawal symptoms you can experience.

Alcoholism-If you drink too much alcohol, you may become jittery when it not available.

Other Nervous People-Avoid surrounding yourself with people that get nervous easily.  Try to find people who are calm or better yet, people who can help calm you down when you begin to experience nervousness.

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