Nervousness

Coping with nervousness and nervous conditions

Coping with Nervousness & Nervous Conditions

Select a Topic

  1. Signs & Symptoms of Nervousness?
  2. What Causes Nervousness?
  3. Nervousness in Children
  4. Help for Overcoming Nervousness
  5. Foods to Help Relieve Nervousness
  6. Tips to Help Manage Nervousness

What is Nervousness?

For some people, nervousness can be quite incapacitating and leave them feeling terror-struck at a time when clear thinking and togetherness are required. It’s difficult to impress a future employer in an interview, or inspire an audience, if your hands are shaky and sweaty, your mind is blank and you’re trying so hard to catch your breath that talking is an after thought.

Nervousness can be an infrequent, circumstantially bound problem, or it could be the result of another more serious disorder. Either way, help is available, and if treated properly, nervousness can be managed.

Signs & Symptoms of Nervousness

People react physically in different ways when they are feeling nervous. The following are some of the physical changes that may occur when you are nervous.

  • Upset stomach and nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Bad Breath (Halitosis)
  • Tics and Tremors
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweaty Hands
  • Breathlessness
  • Trembling
  • Hot or cold flushes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle tension
  • Feeling restless and agitated
  • Dizziness or feeling light-headed

What Causes Nervousness?

Feeling nervous can be a normal reaction to stressful, unknown or intimidating circumstances. It is quite normal to feel nervous before a job interview, before delivering a presentation and even before a doctor’s appointment.

While the situations that give rise to nervous feelings are the triggers, the body changes occur because of an increase of stress hormones released into our blood by the adrenal glands – as a response to the anxiety-provoking situation. How we cope with these nervous feelings can make all the difference.

Situations that May Cause Nervousness

  • Public speaking or performance
  • Meeting strangers
  • Job interviews
  • Starting a new sport or hobby, such as going to the gym or to pottery class for the first time
  • Appointments or meetings where you may feel you are going to be ‘put on the spot’ or be the focus of attention such as a meeting with your boss

Of course, nervousness can play a greater role in certain situations and some people are just more prone to feeling nervous or have an underlying condition that heightens nervousness. Examples of this include:

  • Exam nerves
  • Test Anxiety
  • Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders
  • Hyperactivity
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (children & Adults)
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Caffeine and other stimulants increase nervous tension
  • Many prescription medications, as well as illicit substances, also increase nervous tension.

Nervousness in Children

Sometimes when a child is going through a lot of lifestyle changes, they tend to feel nervous. Common reasons for children to suffer from nervousness are peer pressure, parental pressure, and troubles at school, among others. The symptoms of nervousness in children can come in many different forms depending on the child.

Some children get more hyperactive when they are nervous, while others tend to be distracted or uninterested in activities, either way both get physically exhausted very easily. Also, children may not have much of an appetite, easily irritated, and feel restless.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix for nervousness in children, but once the root of the problem is indentified, it’s easier to treat. Talking with your child about his/her difficulties is number one in helping to rid nervousness symptoms.

Avoid giving your child any caffeine, and stick to proteins, fruits and veggies, steering clear of processed foods. Exercising with your child is another way to help quell their nervousness. Symptoms of nervousness in children are easily ignored or written off; make sure you pay close attention to your child’s demeanor.

Help for Overcoming Nervousness

A little nervousness before an event is not necessarily a bad thing and can even help to improve performance by increasing levels of alertness and vigilance. However, if nervousness becomes bothersome to the point where it affects your ability to perform negatively, then there are a number of things you can do to help.

There are many treatments available to help you manage nervousness, depending on the severity and the underlying cause. It is important to get a professional diagnosis if you think a more serious psychological disorder or medical condition is the underlying cause.

 

Foods to Help Relieve Nervousness

Carbohydrates have been known to calm down the mind as they release serotonin in the brain; however, they aren’t so good for those trying to cut back on their sugar intake. All carbs like rice pasta, potatoes, and breads have been described as comfort foods, because they can act as a mild tranquilizer on the body. It is important to stick with complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat breads and pastas when you are eating them, to help to keep the body satiated.

Alternatively, you want to eat more proteins packed full of nervousness ridding vitamins like B vitamins. Proteins include salmon, tuna, chicken, beans, snapper, and scallops. If you are looking for vegetables to help with your nervousness try, bell peppers, spinach, yellow corn and mushrooms.

Stay away from caffeine, which only adds to nervousness. When snacking is in order, hold the chocolate and eat some sunflower seeds, they are rich in Thiamin, which helps with feelings of panic and anxiety.

Tips to Help Manage Nervousness

  • It’s helpful to know that while you may think your nervousness is glaringly obvious, it never looks as bad as it feels. Many people who feel sure that everyone notices their nervous feelings are surprised to hear friends and colleagues remark on how confident they seemed!
  • Deep breathing is one of the most helpful tools to help with nerves. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose (try to breathe from your diaphragm rather than from your chest), hold your breath in for a few seconds and then release your breath slowly from your mouth.
  • Don’t be frustrated or angry at yourself for being nervous. It’s a very normal fear reaction and focusing on its negative effects will make them seem larger than life.
  • Try to be prepared for the event that is making you nervous. The more solid your preparation, the more confident and less nervous you will be.
  • Watch out for and stop any negative thoughts about possible bad outcomes. To help you do this, change "What ifs" to "So what’s."
  • Many people speak faster when they feel nervous. Take a deep breath and slow down your rate of speech. This will prevent you from becoming breathless – which makes many people feel more nervous.