How to Stop Being Nervous All the Time, According to 22 Experts

When you’re nervous, your body is likely on high alert.

Clammy hands, shaky voice, racing pulse, and sometimes even stomach cramps are just some of the things you’ll likely experience.

If you want to know how to stop being nervous all the time, we asked experts to share their insights.

Table of Contents

Dr. J. Paul Rand, MBA, CPCN

Paul Rand

Psychologist | Researcher | Strategy Advisor | Performance Coach

The rise of the digital era has ushered in the largest increases in anxiety, depression, suicide-idealization, and addiction ever encountered. Hiding from technology as a root cause of many types of anxiety is not only impractical but also infeasible.

The solution, then, is to embrace self-discovery to learn how to cope with anxiety by seeking to live a dynamic life focused on your living and leaving a legacy.

Breathe: 3 seconds, 30 seconds, 3 minutes

Breathing is well established in esoteric studies of mindfulness and what is now considered psychology, modern research, and neuroscience as an effective remedy to anxiety reduction. Breathing, specifically fresh air (outdoors) is a powerful tool for reducing synaptic misfiring of neurological connections well documented to increase rates of anxiety.

There are three key breathing supersizes that are effective when struggling with anxiety based on obsessive-compulsive thoughts, stress-elevation, and diminished focus (overwhelmed) covered in my publication Inspira.

Breathing exercises allow you both a psychological and physiological control over situations that increase nerves and anxiety. It’s the first step to allowing you to think, act, and lead to overcome the fear/ego conditions that allow anxiety and stress to rule over you.

Write: put pen to paper with a dream journal

Dreaming is an essential connection between your conscious (lived) life and the unconscious experiences of life. Keeping a dream journal daily helps to capture images that can be assessed for understanding what I call “emotional turmoil under the canopy.”

By taking the time to “hear” your inner self by keeping a dream journal, you help to release internal frustrations that can build-up and create physiological and physiological outcomes defined as anxiety. The key: put pen to paper!

Goals: aim small, miss small

The reality is that the digital era causes people to feel overwhelmed which creates fear that then drives anxiety as the expressed output. By putting pen to paper each morning to set a personal best goal.

Goals, however, should be smart, specific, measured (from what to what and how measured), realistic and time-bound based on the following:

  • Goals should be short-term focuses related to career/vocation, social/emotional, financial, and knowledge focused on improving performance or solving problems.
  • Goals should also relate to long-term (3 year-5year) positive statements that are milestones to remind yourself that life is a journey and reward is in the process and experience, not just the outcome.
  • Use “I will…” statements or other positive phrases when you write your ONE sentence SMART goal(s). Avoid using terms such as “have to.” “need to,” “want to”, “should”, “could. These are not forward-looking, positive, and serve to enhance feeling overwhelmed, behind, and consequently increase nervous anxiety.

By keeping your goal statements short, focused, and smart you will begin to achieve momentum and success.

Be dynamic, no matter how small

Anxiety and nerves often relate to an inner sense compelling you to do and be more. This should be a process and experience that is embraced which is why the other tips help you capture the story, move forward, but ultimately help you to live a dynamic life.

To be dynamic is to choose not to let fear/ego govern your actions; doing so is well established to increase nerves and anxiety.

Instead, breath, think/dream, imagine what sounds like an amazing story – then take steps to live it focused not on the earned outcome but living the life worth living.

To help, ask yourself “what is my legacy” then live that legacy as best as you can while always reminding yourself – a legacy is never realized in one’s life, therefore, there is no wrong answer other than to let fear/ego (nerves/anxiety) rule you.

A word of caution: Pharma medications are not a cure, just a band-aid

If you are feeling that anxiety and nerves have total control over your life, then try these tips above daily. If, however, you feel so overwhelmed and are contemplating suicide call 9-11, find a friend, or seek medical attention.

Pharma medications can work but are specifically designed to help those who are on the brink of a dark hole, on the brink of taking life-altering actions that can have life or death consequences.

If you opt to take medications, however, be responsible and understand that 90% of pharma medications for stress, anxiety, and depression are intended to be taken for less than 30 days; most, in fact, are based on the clinical use for less than 14 days. However, 90% of people using these medications spend weeks, months, and years; then add to these medications with alternates to combat the problems of miss using pharma.

The problem is not the pills; it is our acceptance that it is easier to mask a problem with a quick-fix that does not cure the cause. The tips above will help you address the cause. The problem is not investing in coaching, counseling (healing), and learning to understand yourself and discovering that every problem in life is an opportunity.

Repeat that, every problem is an opportunity to discover your personal best and seek to live a dynamic life. Pills are only effective for immediate relief of severe anxiety and should never be taken long-term.

Invest in learning, writing, and exploring your dynamic self. Use pills no differently than you would use 9-11 – for short-term, immediate, emergency use only. Now go live a dynamic life!

Disrupt repeated thoughts

Nervousness is often reinforced and sustained by repeated thought, so the best remedies include ways to disrupt the repeated thoughts. Some ideas are:

Use a sensory disruption to “unstick” the brain

A nervous brain is often “stuck” like a needle on an old vinyl record. Interacting with something grounding that brings in sensory stimulation can help. Wash your hands with scented soap, use a breath mint, sip some tea, listen to some ambient sound on an app.

When in a “good headspace”, decide on 2-3 things to think about instead of the worry

They can be a good memory, scripture, something that makes you laugh. When you identify the repeating and distressing thought, bring one of the other thoughts gently but intentionally into the picture and savor that thought instead.

Related: How to Stop Intrusive Thoughts

Be proactive and set yourself up for less reactivity

When we are at our best, we are less likely to lapse into headspaces that don’t serve us.

Focus on good practices

Sleep, nutrition, appropriate and regular exercise, and good care practices allow you to be in the best physical space.

Don’t “pre-pave” an experience and anticipate the worst

Don’t go into events expecting and rehearsing the worst-case scenario. You will create a pattern in your brain that will search for and find evidence of the event going poorly.

Start a gratitude practice

There are many ways to start an intentional gratitude practice. There is some science and research behind this positive habit, and it can help with reversing the habit of being nervous.

Be aware of your area of influence

Know where your area of influence and ability to affect change can be, and make a decision to do what you can to affect change only in that area. Be mindful of managing and protecting your energy for the “things” and people that matter and that you can and should have some influence over.

Develop brain-healthy habits


Create a playlist on Pandora that helps you feel good, and use it both when you feel stressed, but also before.

Consider learning about and practicing meditation

You can start as little as 10 minutes a day. Over time, regular meditation has many documented benefits.


Being intentional about laughing is a good brain-practice. Science is clear about its positive impact.

Dr. Carla Marie Manly

Carla Marie Manly

Clinical Psychologist | Author, Joy from Fear

Notice what creates anxiety and nervousness

This is the first key step in reducing anxiety and nervousness. Indeed, you can’t decrease nervousness without realizing what is causing you to be nervous.

Start journaling

It can be helpful to keep a simple journal to jot down what makes you feel nervous. Don’t judge yourself during this process, simply begin to notice when you are feeling nervous and why!

Avoid caffeine

If you often feel edgy and nervous, strive to avoid caffeinated beverages and sugary foods. Both caffeine and sugar can worsen nervousness.

Get plenty of sleep each night—at least 7 to 8 hours

If you are not getting sufficient sleep, you are far more likely to be the victim of nervous feelings.

The power of focused breathing is incredible

The busy mind simply can’t worry when it is focused on another task such as breathing. This simple breathing exercise can decrease nervousness in just a few minutes: Breathe in slowly to a count of four. Hold for a few seconds. Breathe out slowly and fully to a count of four.


Meditation takes many forms. Whether you sit on the floor in a quiet room, take a walk outside, knit, or rake leaves, a meditative mindset can bring a peaceful quality to many areas of your life.

Here’s the key: If your mind begins to race or wander, bring it back to the present moment. Without judgment, simply notice that your mind took another track, and bring it back to the beauty of the present.

As you learn to focus on the task at hand—being present in the here and now—your nervousness will often evaporate.

Dr. Jared Heathman

Jared Heathman

Psychiatrist, Your Family Psychiatrist

Get rid of negative thoughts

Many people that are frequently nervous have an excessive amount of negative automatic thoughts. Automatic thoughts are the initial subconscious thoughts that arise from everyday events.

When these subconscious thoughts are mostly negative, we constantly doubt ourselves and our abilities. Once we convince ourselves that we are subpar or not good enough, our mind begins to worry excessively in an effort to catch every potential error as a form of natural selection.

There are counseling techniques geared towards turning negative automatic thoughts into objective thoughts to build self-confidence. Progressing in these techniques can greatly improve anxiety. A licensed professional counselor is a great place to start to begin learning all about cognitive behavioral therapy to improve automatic thoughts.

Terrell L. Strayhorn, Ph.D.

Terrell Strayhorn

Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs and Professor of Urban Education, LeMoyne-Owen College | Chief Executive Officer/Owner, Do Good Work Educational Consulting, LLC

Feeling nervous is completely normal—everybody experiences it at some point or another. Research has shown that there are lots of ways to reduce, if not avoid, feeling nervous.

For instance, practicing not only makes perfect, but it also stops nervousness. Working out, exercising, and getting proper sleep can stop bad nerves.

A highly effective strategy is to breathe using mindfulness strategies

Close your eyes, focus on your breathing and work to slow your heart rate and start relaxing the muscles in your body. This can actually short-circuit your nervous system, shutting down the fight-or-flight response, reducing the flow of adrenaline, and calming you down. Counting down—5, 4, 3, 2, 1—also helps.

Another way to stop feeling nervous is to think positive thoughts

Generally, we feel nervous when we worry about the outcome of an important meeting, a big presentation, a test, or major event. An avalanche of negative thoughts builds over time in our mind leading to feelings of doubt, disaster, and failure.

Replacing negative thought patterns with positive beliefs and affirmations has proven highly effective—what psychologists call “rewriting negative scripts.”

When nerves creep upon us, we should ask: What am I worried about? Instead of assuming the worst (e.g., failure, termination), think positively about the outcome. Tell yourself: “I will win” or “It will be great” or “I’ve got this.”

When you need a bit more, write these affirmations down on sticky notes and post on your computer, work desk, or mirror. This helps give you courage, perspective and stops nervousness dead in its tracks.

Elaine Fogel Schneider, Ph.D.

Elaine Fogel Schneider

Licensed Speech and Language Pathologist | Executive Director, TouchTime International | Parenting Coach | Speaker | Trainer | Author, Confidence & Joy: Success Strategies for Kids with Learning Differences

The best way to stop being nervous is by using meditation

You have to want it and then stick to it. I have found over many years that using meditation took the edge off of my nerves. I got to “be” in one place and when I sat in one place, I got to feel the peacefulness of “being.”

No cares, no worries. If I had a worry then I would allow it to surface and keep meditating and the nerves would “sail away.” I allow the “jitters” and nerves to creep up but like the waves. I now also know how I can breathe deeply and let my body relax, bringing in more oxygen.

Having greater control over my breathing allows me to relax more and feel better about myself, It is amazing what is possible when you use your breath, it can you serve as a place of comfort and safety.

Dr. Paul Corona

Paul Corona

Psychiatrist | Author, Healing the Mind and Body (The Trilogy)

I’m very experienced in treating anxiety. Of course, there are important non-medication things such as regular cardiovascular exercise, relaxation techniques such as breathing techniques, yoga, meditation and the like, and those things do work for sure. I talk to all my patients about that.

The best treatment is psychotropic medications

The tranquilizers like Xanax and Klonopin and Valium are just what I call Band-Aids because they just treat the symptoms but don’t fix the problem. They can be very helpful for panic attacks, fear of flying, etc. but they do have addictive potential and they’re not necessarily the best for the brain.

My best success is nonaddictive psychotropic medications. Some of the best I work with is Pristiq and Effexor XR though other ones are good too. SSRIs can help also but not ass good as SNRIs. Also, GABA agents like Topamax and Gabapentin can be very useful.

These not only help with anxiety but also can help with body pain, what we call somatic symptoms such as headaches and neck and shoulder tension and backaches and stomachaches and joint pains, fibromyalgia, IBS, etc.

I’m passionate about the subject since my results are so excellent with my patients. They just have to get over the whole taking a pill thing. They need to understand that this is preventative and healthy for their bodies to balance their neurochemistry properly and resolve the problem at the source and not just cover it up with Band-Aids only.

Marissa Katrin Maldonado, M.B.A.


Founder, The Treatment Specialist

We fret about our finances. We worry about our jobs. We stress out about meeting all the demands of parenthood. We are one big worrywart nation.

Most of this anxiety centers on feeling a loss of control over situations, certain stressors that trigger the fight or flight response. But the adverse effects of chronic anxiety and stress will take a huge toll on our mental and physical wellbeing.

Some of the effects of chronic stress include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Changes in eating habits leading to weight loss or weight gain
  • Cognitive and memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Substance abuse
  • Heart problems
  • Lowered immune functions
  • Mood swings
  • Hostility
  • Changes in brain composition
  • Digestive problems
  • Hypertension
  • Skin and hair problems
  • Sexual dysfunction

So how can we take control of this constant nervousness that depletes our energy and drains us mentally? Here are some solid coping skills that can easily be woven into the daily routine to help us keep our powder dry:

Watch your diet

Increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, tuna, and sardines, yogurt and kefir, berries, avocado, citrus, almonds and cashews, and dark chocolate.

Work out

Get out and move every day, even if it is just a walk around the block. Better yet, establish a regular fitness routine and set some goals to keep you motivated.


Being mindful of our shallow breathing and practicing deep breathing exercises throughout the day whenever a stress trigger threatens to upset your peace.


Take a few minutes a day to sit quietly alone. Process thoughts, pray, journal, or use guided imagery apps to calm your mind and promote relaxation.

Making a conscious effort to slow down, eat right, and become more physically fit can benefit our mental health while also providing substantial physical health benefits.

Lucía García-Giurgiu

Lucía García-Giurgiu

Holistic Psychotherapist, Mind-Body Souling | Life Coach | Kundalini Yoga Teacher

We all experience times of anxiety or stress due to our everyday life challenges. While these are normal responses, when our stress levels get too high, they can be detrimental to our health.

There are some powerful tools I will share to address ongoing feelings of anxiety:

Bring yourself back to the present

Anxiety is often caused when you are anticipating and fearing the future or reliving a past experience. That’s why the role of mindfulness is crucial, which implies bringing your attention to the present in a non-judgmental way.

A simple mindfulness practice to use when anxious consists of bringing your attention to your five senses: What is one thing you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell?

Left nostril breathing

According to yogic texts, the left nostril is our lunar nostril that controls our emotions and promotes a sense of calm and relaxation.

To practice, block your right nostril using your right thumb, letting the arm rest with the other fingers up. Inhale deeply through your left nostril, hold the breath for a count of four, and exhale slowly through the same nostril.

Meditation for the most restless mind

This is a kundalini yoga meditation that brings immediate relief to an overanxious mind. To practice, sit in easy pose (legs crossed at the ankles) or on a chair, making sure your back is straight.

Rest your arms on your legs and open your mouth as wide as possible, touching the tongue to your upper palate. Start breathing through the nose. You can start with 3-5 minutes daily to notice the benefits.

Mollie Volinsky, LCSW

Mollie Volinsky


Accepting that you are a person who gets nervous is a great first step

Allow yourself to experience the nervous thought and then move on with your day. Forcing yourself to not be nervous won’t work. It’s like a tall person trying to force themselves to be shorter… it just won’t work.

I often use the metaphor of pretending that you are standing on the side of the road watching cars go by. Each car represents a thought or emotion. You can watch the nervous car as it passes you and experience the nervousness, but then watch it drive away. Then comes another car with a different emotion. You don’t need to get into the car.

Engaging in activities that release that nervous energy can be helpful

Being nervous requires a lot of energy. This could be traditional exercise, dancing, singing, or drawing.

Express gratitude

Expressing gratitude for aspects of your life that you are proud of and bring you joy can minimize the impact of nervousness.

It is helpful to remember that all feelings are temporary

You will not feel nervous forever. Thinking back to a time when you felt incredibly nervous and survived, maybe even thrived, can be helpful.

Lisa Richards

Lisa Richards

Nutritionist | Author, The Candida Diet

Food and mood, even nervousness and anxiety, are connected in a significant way.

Nutrient deficiencies can lead to many poor health conditions in the body and low magnesium is a major contributor to chronic nervousness. Foods that contain high magnesium include leafy greens, seeds, legumes, nuts, and whole grains.

Consume enough Zinc, omega-3, and B vitamins

These are additional nutrients that can exacerbate or create anxiety when we are not consuming enough of them through diet or supplementation. Integrating foods that are high in these nutrients could reduce your nervousness and include cashews, fatty fish, beef, egg yolks, avocados, and almonds.

Antioxidants deserve a lot of credit for overall general health and mood conditions

They improve anxiety, and other health issues, by fighting toxins and free radicals that can lead to cell damage. When this damage occurs in the brain and nervous system anxiety can develop. Fruits and vegetables contain many antioxidant properties and should be consumed regularly.

Chronic inflammation in the body can also produce anxiety and nervousness. This can be avoided by reducing or completely eliminating the number of refined carbohydrates and sugar in the diet.

Jennifer Bronsnick, LCSW

Jennifer Bronsnick

Certified Mental Health Integrative Medicine Practitioner | Certified Child & Adolescent Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional | CEO, The Mindful Family

The key to end nervousness is to know what is happening in your brain and subsequently your body

The fight/flight response aka stress response feels terrible but when you know what is happening, you know it’s not a crisis. You might even want to give your “worry part” an eye roll and say, “I know what this is and I know you are trying to keep me safe, but I have big dreams and you are NOT going to stop me..”

Count backward.. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 then move forward in doing what makes you nervous. The brain will change when we adopt and practice this mindset.

When we are talking about fear or nervousness it’s never about getting rid of it, but rather learning the skills you need to cope at the moment.

Christine MacInnis, MS, LMFT

Christine MacInnis

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Transcends Therapy | School Counselor

As a therapist who works with teens and young adults with anxiety, I get this question frequently from clients.

Assess the importance of your thoughts

One of my favorite tricks is to think when feeling nervous is, Will this affect me next week, a month from now, a year from now, five years from now? It immediately gets you thinking in the present tense of how a situation is probably not a severe as you are making it out to be in your mind.

The five senses technique

Another helpful technique that I use is the five senses. If you are really feeling nervous, take 4 slow deep breaths and name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can taste and 1 thing you can feel. It brings you back to the present and calms your thinking as it distracts your brain from its concerns.

Abigale Johnson, LCSW

Abigale Johnson

Psychotherapist | Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Fake it ’til you make it

You may have heard to fake a smile to be happier. Or put on a nice outfit to appear rich. Or had someone say something with such confidence that it must be true. Some will discredit others’ successes with this catchphrase, but for many – it works. And there’s psychology behind it.

If you want to stop being nervous all the time, puff up that chest and fake a little confidence

Most of the time, our nerves come from wondering how others are perceiving us. Presenting ourselves with confidence may change the way others see us, therefore changing the way others treat us. This comes full circle and we begin to actually feel more confident and less nervous.

Obviously there is a fine line here – acting overconfident on a topic you know nothing about or have no background in could just make you appear arrogant.

My main advice within “faking it til you make it” is to tread lightly and choose wisely. Small statements in a conversation and/or action is all you need. You can’t fake it until you make it to be happy in an abusive relationship or fake being a doctor to become one. But you can fake it until you make it to be less nervous, whether in social situations, work, or school.

Looking at the psychology behind this catchphrase, we can simply label it as classical conditioning (think Pavlov’s dogs). When you fake confidence or happiness, your brain will associate that feeling to the situation. After a time, you will actually feel confident or happy in that situation (i.e. you made it!).

For example, you fake being happy at work and after a while, your brain will connect being at work with feeling happy. Or you fake a little confidence out at a bar and that attractive stranger takes notice of you, boosting your actual confidence in that situation. So you want to stop being nervous all the time? Fake it until you make it.

Emily Souder, MA, MSW

Emily Souder

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Nesting Space, LLC

Practice mindfulness

In order to start to retrain your body and mind when it comes to nervousness, it’s important to practice being in the moment as regularly as possible.

To do this, it’s not necessary to have a formal meditation practice, although that is certainly helpful. You can start practicing in other ways without taking time away from your daily routine. For instance, remind yourself that the only moment you know you have for sure is this present one.

Be here for it. Feel your feet deeply rooted to the ground, notice what your senses are telling you, and keep bringing your thoughts back to that, even if they drift into the past or future one hundred times.

Ann Russo, LCSW

Ann Russo

Licensed Clinical Social Worker | Founder, AMR Mental Health Therapy

The best way to deal with these feelings is to accept them

More than ever before clients, especially millennials, tend to be in a perpetual state of nervousness. For these clients, I highly recommend some self-love and compassion. Stop beating yourself up over being stressed or nervous.

The more one tries to push away those feelings and/or be angry at themselves for having these feelings the less likely you are to move through it. If you find yourself being nervous allow an object moment to just feel the feels.

Redirect yourself in the present moment

Redirection is a great way to be in the moment. Some people find using their 5 senses can really help. What do you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell? Be in it and if you feel yourself drifting from the present a gentle reminder come backs helpful. This practice takes time, don’t give up

Adina Mahalli


Certified Mental Health Consultant, Enlightened Reality | Relationship Expert, Maple Holistics

Regain control through preparation

The number one reason for feeling nervous in any given situation is that you feel like you’re not in control. You want to be able to prepare, to bring your best self, but too many external variables can potentially throw you off. So, if you want to stop being nervous all the time, your best bet is to prepare for certain scenarios in advance.

Start by making lists. Write down emergency contacts for your child, projects that need to get done for work in order of importance, or a list of birthdays and anniversaries so that you don’t miss any of the important dates. Having these “cheat sheets” will give you fewer things to be nervous about and free up more mental space from worry.

If you happen to get particularly nervous in social situations, always try to bring a buddy with you so that you have a familiar face in the crowd. At the same time, don’t push yourself too much and recognize your limits and what’s too much outside of your comfort zone.

Lastly, keep in mind that no matter what you do, you can’t possibly prepare for every potential outcome. Life is about uncertainty, and the sooner that you embrace this, the less nervous you’ll be.

Madineyah Isaacs

Madineyah Isaacs

Certified Life and Leadership Coach

EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique

In my former career as a radio producer and presenter, I found myself nervous all the time, working alongside childhood heroes and not discovering my voice and who I am yet, it was nerve-wracking.

I dabbled in affirmations and meditation but it was not until I had a few EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique aka Tapping sessions did my constant state of nervousness diminish, almost immediately. I was so amazed at the results so much so that I got certified as an EFT practitioner and now teach it to all my coaching clients with amazing success.

EFT/Tapping is evidence-based psychological acupressure for physical pain and emotional distress aimed to create a balance in your energy system. Doing 10 mins of tapping twice a day can truly diminish nervousness, unleash your confidence and give you immense clarity.

After seeing a practitioner for a few sessions, you will be well-equipped to tap on your own, thus being a very effective and cheap self-healing technique.

I have had clients come to terms with their spouse’s cheating and forgiving them through tapping and release the nervous feeling that they’ll do it again, I had one gain confidence to do public speaking and after two sessions (and daily self-practice) I had a client stop his 2 years long feeling of nervousness and anxiety that his cancer will come back. He remained calm and at peace for the duration of our 6-month coaching journey.

It transforms any unwanted emotion or feeling e.g. nervousness, frustration, irritation (you may not even realize why you feel that way) into feeling light and clear-minded. It also gets you to the root of the emotion very quickly as thoughts related to the feeling would often pop-up up while tapping.

It leaves one feeling clear and empowered and unearths deep clarity and calm. It also helps you stay mindful and respond rather than react to seemingly overwhelming events.

It has a cumulative effect so the results are lasting and embed. Situations and people that made you nervous won’t anymore. The key is to do it daily. It’s one of my favorite techniques, that I do daily as well.

Sunny Volano, LPC, CPCS

Sunny Volano

Licensed Professional Counselor, Verus Counseling

The best way to stop being nervous all the time is to get out of your head through meditation

Trying to focus on only the present moment and try to stop perseverating on the future and the past. Try meditating! A daily meditation routine can reduce your overall stress level and better prepare you for the stressful moments of your day.

Try to remember, most of the time people are not thinking about you, they are thinking about themselves (how they might respond, how they appear to others, etc).

Lucile Hernandez Rodriguez

Lucile Hernandez Rodriguez

Registered Yoga Teacher | Mindfulness Coach

If you want to stop being nervous all the time, don’t overthink it

I recommend instead a few simple practices that will bring you back to balance. First, build an emergency toolkit to calm your fight or flight response: yoga, reading, talking with a loved one…

Anything that makes you feel mindfully relaxed! Every time you are feeling too nervous, choose to make time for one of these soothing activities.

Stretch your comfort zone by taking on activities that would usually make you feel nervous

These can be activities like talking to a stranger or trying something new. While you do this, stay mindful of your inner nervous chatter. You can also practice a grounding technique with deep breaths and a focus on the points of contact between your feet and the floor.

Dr. Charles Sutera, DMD, FAGD

Charles Sutera

Dentist, Aesthetic Smile Reconstruction

As a sedation dentist, I see patients that are anxious and fearful all day long. Everyone has parts of their life that provoke anxiety — absolutely everyone.

Whether a person suffers from anxiety to a specific situation or general anxiety, the cause is always the same. Anxiety is caused by a perceived loss of control or a fear of the unknown.

The key to overcoming any anxiety is to establish control

Take the smallest action needed to build trust and confidence. For example, a person afraid of heights may begin by stepping up on a ladder, only one step. The following week, they may progress up the ladder two steps, and so on.

By systematically gaining positive experiences, anxiety will fade and trust in a situation will increase. With time and persistence, a person can build a tolerance to anxiety that they never imagined possible.

Chris Tepedino

Chris Tepedino

Insurance Expert,

I’ve suffered from nerves for quite some time. They can happen in typical nerve situations like going to an event or being at a party. They can happen at atypical nerve situations like going to the grocery store. Here are my thoughts.

Breath deep

Taking deep breaths is a ground tool that slows heart rate, increases oxygen flow, and increases awareness. It slows things down, which is a good thing, as nerves can speed things up.

There’s also some science behind it. Researchers found that deep breathing stimulated the pre-Bötzinger complex, which moderates feelings of alertness, attention, and stress.

Do what gives you nerves, until it doesn’t

The first instinct with nerves is to back off. It’s an uncomfortable feeling. However, the opposite approach works to stop the nerves. The more comfortable you are with a situation or activity, the less nervous you are.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common causes of nervousness?

Nervousness is a natural response to situations that trigger feelings of uncertainty, vulnerability, or fear. Some common causes include:

Stress: Experiencing high-stress levels in your daily life, be it from work, relationships, or personal challenges, can make you feel nervous.

Anxiety: An underlying anxiety disorder might be responsible for frequent nervousness, making you more prone to experiencing worry and apprehension.

Lack of self-confidence: Doubting your own abilities or fearing failure can lead to feelings of nervousness.

Change or novelty: New situations, such as starting a new job or moving to a new city, can bring about nervous feelings as you adapt to unfamiliar environments.

Public situations: Many people feel nervous in social settings, like speaking in public or attending large gatherings, due to the pressure to perform or be judged by others.

Why won’t my nervousness go away?

If your nervousness persists, there could be a few reasons:

Chronic stress: Constant exposure to stress without proper management techniques can make it difficult to shake off nervous feelings.

Unresolved issues: If you haven’t addressed the underlying cause of your nervousness, it can be challenging to let go of those feelings.

Habitual thinking patterns: Sometimes, our minds become accustomed to feeling nervous, making it hard to break the cycle.

Mental health conditions: Persistent nervousness could indicate an anxiety disorder or mental health issue requiring professional help.

Is it normal to be nervous every day?

Experiencing occasional nervousness is entirely normal, as it’s our body’s natural response to perceived threats or challenges. However, if you’re feeling nervous every day, it might be a sign that there’s a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.

Daily nervousness might indicate high levels of stress, an anxiety disorder, or other mental health concerns. It’s crucial to recognize when these feelings become disruptive to your daily life, as that’s a sign that it’s time to seek help from a mental health professional.

Why do I get nervous easily?

If you tend to get nervous easily, there might be several factors at play:

Genetic predisposition: Some people may have a genetic tendency to be more sensitive to stress or anxiety, making them prone to nervousness.

Past experiences: Traumatic events or negative experiences in the past can lead to heightened nervousness in similar situations.

Overthinking: A tendency to overanalyze situations or worry excessively can contribute to increased nervousness.

Environment: A high-stress environment, whether at home or work, can make you more susceptible to feeling nervous.

Understanding the factors contributing to your nervousness can help you develop coping strategies to reduce its impact on your life.

How can I stop my mind from racing when I’m nervous?

When your mind races due to nervousness, try these techniques to regain control and find calm:

Deep breathing: Slow, deep breaths can help you relax and refocus your thoughts. Try inhaling for four counts, holding for four counts, and exhaling for four counts.

Mindfulness meditation: Practice being present and aware of your thoughts without judgment. This can help you recognize racing thoughts and let them pass without getting caught up in them.

Progressive muscle relaxation: Tense and relax each muscle group in your body to release tension and promote relaxation.

Distraction: Engage in activities that you enjoy or require focus, like reading, drawing, or solving puzzles, to help take your mind off your nervousness.

Journaling: Write down your thoughts and feelings to better understand what’s causing your nervousness and gain a sense of control.

What foods can calm nerves?

A balanced diet can help support a healthy nervous system and manage stress. Consider incorporating these foods into your meals:

Whole grains: Rich in B vitamins, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats can help support a healthy nervous system.

Leafy greens: Magnesium-rich leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, can promote relaxation and help reduce anxiety.

Fatty fish: Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, like salmon and mackerel, are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and can help support brain health.

Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, and flaxseeds contain healthy fats and essential nutrients that can support the nervous system and overall well-being.

Herbal teas: Drinking calming teas, such as chamomile or passionflower, can help soothe nerves and promote relaxation.

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