Feeling nervous is a common reaction to having an important meeting or making a difficult decision. Even positive events, such as a wedding or the birth of a child, may make a person nervous.
For some people, nervousness may trigger feelings of worry or doubt and could result in physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomach aches. Some people may have these feelings in advance of any “big moment,” while others may feel nervous ahead of specific events, such as situations they associate with failure or embarrassment.
If you often feel nervous in key situations, these tips may help:
- Plan ahead. Procrastination is a recipe for feeling nervous. Preparing as much as you can in advance may boost your confidence and decrease stress.
- Ask questions. A lack of information is a common cause of nervousness or uncertainty. Talking with others who have had similar experiences may help you prepare for what to expect. Review relevant information and conduct additional research as necessary.
- Stay focused. Concentration is sometimes difficult when you are feeling nervous. Eliminate distractions by turning off the TV, silencing your phone, and avoiding activities that you might use to procrastinate. Mindful meditation is another way to manage stress and improve your ability to focus.
- Establish a routine. If you must engage in a task that makes you nervous on a regular basis, create a low-stress routine. For instance, if you have an important meeting once a month, schedule time to exercise prior to the meeting so you can burn off some nervous energy. Planning a reward, such as a special dinner, is another way to stay focused in a stressful situation.
- Seek assistance. If you are feeling nervous more often, or if the feelings are intensifying, it could be a sign that you are struggling with anxiety.