Here are some ways to calm your nerves
1. Make a list of things that cause you stress. Identify what is causing your nerves to fray. This can help you better manage your stress by developing strategies. Some of these stressors will be external (such as dealing with a looming deadline at work), while others will originate from within (like feelings of inadequacy).
2. Call a friend. Talking about what is bothering you or causing you stress can help put the problem in perspective. Getting feedback from a friend or loved one can also normalize the issue, making you feel less alone. Be sure to choose the right person to talk to; if your stress comes from a family issue, perhaps talk to a close, trusted friend instead
3. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause your body to function less productively, and it can increase the possibility of anxiety or even panic attacks. Consume 9-13 cups of fluids per day. Some of this fluid can be attained from fruits and vegetables with high water content.
4. Try some meditation. Meditation helps to focus your thoughts on the present moment without worrying about the past or the future. Awareness of your breath and body posture centers you in the moment. There is no “right” way to meditate, but there are some basic practices you can try.
- Locate a quiet, private place to meditate. Be sure that you can mediate uninterrupted for a minimum of ten minutes. Absolute silence is not necessary as ambient noises (traffic, people outside, barking dogs) are part of the present moment.
- Find a comfortable position to rest. This may be sitting or lying down on the floor. Close your eyes or allow your eyes to gaze towards the floor.
- Pay attention to your breath. Feel your breath fill your lungs as you slowly inhale. Push it out of your diaphragm as you exhale. Try counting your breaths backwards from ten to one. When you’ve reached one, begin at ten again.
- If thoughts or feelings enter into your mind as you meditate, bring your attention back to your breath. Focusing on your breath will help keep you from getting caught up on any one thought.
5. Get some exercise. Going for a run, doing some jumping-jacks, and lifting weights all help relieve stress by releasing endorphins—brain chemicals that elevate mood, beef up our body’s immune systems, and ease feelings of physical pain. Exercise also allows us to feel like we are in control of our situation, even though we may not be in control of things that cause us stress.
6. Listen to some music. Calming classical music or jazz has been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure and decrease stress hormones. There is evidence to suggest that, in therapeutic situations, music can be more effective at prompting relaxation than verbal stimuli (which is distracting) because music is processed primarily in the non-verbal sections of our brains.
7. Use aromatherapy to help you relax. Aromatherapy utilizes essential oils derived from various herbs, fruits, bark, and flowers. In doing so, aromatherapy can positively affect mood and emotions by making a connection between your olfactory senses and the limbic system in your brain.
- Lavender and lemon are two of the most popular oils used for relaxation and stress relief. Check online or talk to an aromatherapy specialist to determine which additional scents or blends might work for you.
- In an aromatherapeutic massage, the essential oil is placed in “carrier oil”—an unscented or lightly scented oil—that is safe for skin application. As the massage oil is heated through the friction of the massage, the aroma of the essential oil fills the air.
- Aromatherapy burners can be purchased and placed in any room in the house. Some are plugged into outlets, while others fit around the tops of lamp light bulbs. The heat from the bulb releases the calming essential oil scent into the room
8. Start laughing. Take a few minutes to laugh either by yourself or with others. Whether it’s a short 2-minute video of a cat wearing pants or a feature length comedy, laughing has many health benefits:
- Laughter stimulates many organs. When we laugh we take in more oxygen than usual, and that stimulates the heart, lungs, and muscles.
- Laughing increases positive thoughts, leading to the release of stress and disease-fighting neuropeptides.
- Laughter itself increases mood and leads to feelings of enhanced interpersonal connection when shared with others
9. Talk positively to yourself. Give yourself a vote of confidence by affirming your abilities. Say to yourself, “I can do this.” Tell yourself that you are confident, interesting and engaging. Giving positive reinforcement to yourself will also help block out negative thoughts that contribute to increased nerves
10. Demonstrate confidence. When you’re in a high-stress situation, you can easily fall prey to your nerves and start to question yourself. By appearing confident, you can trick others – and yourself – into feeling more confident.
- If you feel your hands shake, try tightening your thigh muscles. This helps redirects energy away from your hands