Nervousness: Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Types, Relaxation Tips, and Simple Habits to Overcome it


It is a normal state when you are in a situation where you have to perform a specific task that others can evaluate or judge.

Activities such as giving a speech, attending a job interview, or presenting to a crowd of people can cause “nerves.”

Control the nerves before an important event with deep breathing techniques, meditation, yoga, and desensitization.

Exercising, reducing caffeine intake, sleeping well, drinking a cup of chamomile or lemon balm, or using lavender oil as aromatherapy can help in the long term.

Use Ayurvedic remedies such as Ashwagandha to combat stress and acupuncture for anxiety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help you adjust your behavior and thinking patterns to manage situations better.

This reaction can be beneficial, but when your nervousness becomes irrational and overwhelming, preventing you from participating in daily life situations, you may experience anxiety.

When the body detects the danger, adrenaline is released. This hormone activates the “fight or flight” mode, designed to get out of trouble quickly. One of the drawbacks of modern life is the amount of stress people experience.


Chronic stress occurs when adrenaline or cortisol is released continuously, leaving you in a constant state of struggle or flight. When you are nervous, your body releases a small amount of adrenaline, enough for you to face the situation appropriately.

The anxiety attacks result from an overload of adrenaline, which has disastrous effects on their mental and physical health.

Sweaty palms, an accelerated heart, a flutter in the belly, only the idea of ​​such physical reactions can make you nervous.

Of course, although a certain amount of nerves is entirely natural, especially before a significant event, an interview, a date, or perhaps a presentation, having these feelings can constantly become debilitating.

In addition to mental anguish, nervousness and anxiety can cause insomnia, confusion, and mood swings, interfering with your everyday life.

If your anxiety is temporary or a symptom of a more severe disorder, here are some natural and alternative remedies to help calm your nerves.

Control nervousness or anxiety at the moment with yoga, breathing, desensitization, meditation, aromatic oils, and even a relaxing cup of tea. Other techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy and herbal remedies can take time but offer a long-term solution to your problems.


The human mind has evolved to think negatively. As Russ Harris puts it in “The Confidence Gap,” the number one job of the reason is to avoid getting killed.

The human mind considers that speaking in public is an intrinsically risky activity. Speaking in public opens it up to an adverse judgment and the rejection of a group of people.

In our distant evolutionary past, the rejection of a group of people meant almost certain death. We ran the risk of predators and hunger alone, so we depended on a group to survive.

Taking this evolutionary perspective, the fear of speaking in public was a rational emotion. For most of us, public rejection no longer carries the risk of death in the privileged Western world, but we still suffer the remnants of our evolutionary past.

Hence, many of us continue to suffer some degree of nervousness every time we become visible. So, every time you become visible and vulnerable, open to judgment and criticism, this fear will appear.

Nervousness does not mean that you do not have confidence; it only means that you are human.


When you are nervous, you may have butterflies in your stomach, dizziness, your heart rate may increase, and your palms start to sweat. These symptoms disappear once you begin to feel comfortable while completing your task.

Although it is typical to experience these feelings when you encounter a situation that forces you to exceed your comfort level, other things can trigger nervous symptoms. A 2009 article highlighted additional factors that contribute to nervousness.

These include alcohol dependence, excessive caffeine consumption, drug use, allergies, hormonal imbalance, pre-menstrual syndrome, and smoking.

How can nervousness and trust coexist?

Here is a helpful way to distinguish between nervousness and trust.

Nervousness describes physical symptoms such as heartbeat, butterflies in the belly, and trembling hands. When we experience these physical symptoms, we say, “I feel nervous.”

Since your nervousness is just a set of feelings, it does not mean anything about your ability to give an excellent presentation.

Trust, on the other hand, is the thought, “I can do this!” (The Latin root of the word “trust” is “to have full confidence”).

He feels safe doing the job of learning and practicing the skills required to give an excellent presentation.

Nervousness and trust can coexist in different spheres: nervousness is an emotion, and trust is a thought or belief.

Then you may feel nervous, but be confident. However, I would have argued in the past that my thoughts and beliefs do not determine or at least influence my emotions. So, if I am sure, why would I be nervous?

Two types of nervousness and how to handle them

First-hand nervousness:

The first is the most obvious, the nervousness related to a particular event or situation that is happening right now in your life. It can be a problem at work or a conflict with a person, some thoughts of anxiety about health, a family member, etc.

We all know this type of nervousness; it is something that keeps us awake at night and requires much mental strength.

When I relax, I have to think of a more optimistic scenario to solve my problematic situation and put it aside mentally. It is not easy, but in most cases, after 10-15 minutes, I can do it.

The main benefit here is that once you have finished relaxation, you are likely to have a new and entirely new view of your situation, and you probably have a prepared solution or at least one plan.

This is why relaxations are so powerful; they can save us hours, days, or even weeks to find a solution, while sometimes only 30 minutes of deep relaxation are needed.

Genetic nervousness:

The other type of nervousness is more complicated. The source of this type of nervousness is probably much more complex than simply genetic, but let us make it simple for this publication.

Genetic nervousness is the mental and emotional discomfort we can not find the exact cause. We feel irritated, everything seems wrong, but we can not say what.

When we examine a situation, we realize that everything is excellent. Still, somehow we are not established, and we can often be a nightmare for the people around us because they can not see the problem either.

This type of nervousness is most likely caused by genetics, an imbalance of organs, or an altered energy flow.

Dealing with this type of nervousness is much more challenging and requires adequate relaxation skills to overcome.

In most cases, all we need is time, and if we can not relax, we must focus on the basics, which are to relax our body and try not to perform any task unless it is something quite relaxing.

Eventually, this nervousness will subside. Physical exercises can also help in this type of case because often, we lack circulation, and we need to release some stagnation.

Drink plenty of water, eat healthy and fresh, and do not worry if you can not relax immediately, keep in mind and let it go.

The type of genetic nerves can manifest quickly in a physical problem, so you should not ignore the symptoms. Take time for yourself and relax; that is the best way to prevent long-term healing.

Relaxation tips

Meditation is a helpful way to relax the mind and body. Join a meditation group if you are a beginner or practice only in a quiet environment. Learn deep breathing techniques to calm your nerves instantly.

Yoga, visualization, and tension and relaxation of muscle groups, known as progressive muscle relaxation, are helpful relaxation tools, exercise, regular sleep, and a healthy and balanced diet.

Meditate to control nervous energy and cope with stress:

The Anxiety and Depression Association of the United States lists meditation as an alternative treatment to relieve nervousness and anxiety in adults. Methods such as mindfulness meditation have been found to help people cope better with stressful situations.

Although much research supports the effectiveness of meditation, it is still understandable to be skeptical. So, how and why does meditation work? Anxiety tends to make your mind run at full speed, making you imagine everything that could go wrong.

This constant nervousness can even cause insomnia. Meditation helps you control your imagination and your mind. It forces you to concentrate on the moment.

Over time, it will teach you to recognize a worrying thought as it happens and keep it under control before it gets worse.

Here is a method you can use anytime, anywhere, even on a busy day:

  • Start by finding a word or sentence that you repeat while meditating. This is your mantra. It could be something as simple as the word “Peace.”
  • Find a comfortable place to sit, whether on a chair, sofa, or floor. Wherever you choose to sit, sit as straight as possible.
  • Close your eyes, inhale deeply through your nose, and exhale through your mouth.
  • Then, close your mouth and breathe gently through your nose.
  • Repeat the chosen word or phrase internally, making sure you do not say it out loud or move your lips to form the words. Create a rhythm for your phrase initially, and then synchronize smoothly with your breathing (do not force it).
  • If you find that your mind wanders, concentrate on chanting the mantra.
  • Once you finish singing, sit relaxed for a while with your eyes closed.

Continue the practice for 5-10 minutes first, working up to 30 minutes and doing it every day. Meditation helps calm the mind and relax your breathing in the process. It incorporates yogic breathing techniques to make this more effective.

Use the yogic breathing techniques to calm down:

These yogic breathing techniques can be easily performed before an excellent presentation, meeting, or event.

Sama vritti or nocturnal breathing in pranayama is a controlled form of yogic breathing. To do this, inhale deeply through the nose and feel the breath enter the lower depths of your belly, naturally and without force. Inhale until you count five, depending on how much you can manage.

Exhale through the mouth, allowing the air to flow smoothly. Count to five before inhaling again. Doing this for just three or five minutes can make a big difference in calming those nerves.

You may also want to try kumbhaka pranayama or breath-hold. Hold or hold your breath for approximately two counts after inhaling and before exhaling gently. You can build this up to 5 or 6 counts gradually.

Another helpful technique is the Nadi shodhana, or alternate breathing of the nasal fossa, in which the nostrils alternate is closing. Inhale through the open nostril before closing it, then open the other nostril to exhale.

Practice Yoga to relieve the symptoms of anxiety:

Like meditation, yoga requires you to focus on your breathing, which can be an excellent way to calm your mind and distract you from the source of your anxiety or nervousness. Research has identified the benefits of yoga in relieving anxiety and stress symptoms.

Gentle yoga postures like balasana or a child’s posture, Shavasana or corpse pose, sukhasana or easy posture, janu shirsasana or forward knee flexion, and uttanasana forward foot bending can help you feel less anxious.

Your chest tends to contract when you are anxious. However, when you stretch it, your rib cage rises, and you can breathe deeply.

A soothing infusion with the flavors and aromas of soothing oils like chamomile can help those with mild or moderate anxiety. However, it may not be a potent enough remedy if you have a more severe form of stress.

Peppermint tea is a muscle relaxant, which can relieve tension, stress, and anxiety, while lemon balm tea can also leave you relaxed, but without drowsiness.

Just remember that if you are pregnant, these teas may not be safe; more research is needed on their possible adverse effects on pregnant women.

Use desensitization techniques to prepare and calm yourself:

Imaginary desensitization can help you prepare for a stressful or anxious situation.

While it is not a substitute for learning to handle a problem through real-life exposure, it is pretty close. It was done well; it should help calm some of that nervousness and calm him down.

This is what you need to do:

  • Think and write down the details of the situation you are nervous about. It enumerates the steps involved in that experience, examining it from beginning to end without neglecting any fact. This way, you will know what to expect, including multiple possibilities and scenarios.
  • Imagine or visualize each step in your mind. If anxiety strikes at any stage, pause until you overcome this anxiety before continuing.
  • Deal with every problem that induces fear or nervousness by imagining how you will face it.
  • Imagine yourself staying calm through the stages.

Try aromatherapy with lavender to help you relax:

An excellent way to recreate the soothing atmosphere of a spa is to invest in lavender essential oil. Place a little on a handkerchief or handkerchief and inhale. You can also mix a little with a carrier oil and rub it on your wrists if you feel nervous or anxious.

However, be careful not to use too much; You will not want to give anyone a swoop of that scent upon entering a room!

If you are at home or just looking to relax and relieve anxiety, you can use other aromatherapy equipment. A reed diffuser or aroma vaporizer allows the relaxing lavender aromas to filter.

Lavender oil can help with anxiety, restlessness, and disturbed sleep. You can create a sense of well-being and help you feel less worried or panicked.

This is also why it is so popular as an alternative remedy for various neurological and psychological disorders, which include depression and anxiety.

In one study, researchers discovered that the use of lavender even suppressed patients’ anxiety in a highly feared place: a dental clinic!

Take Ashwagandha to decrease stress and improve mental health:

Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera is an Ayurvedic remedy and a powerful adaptogen. This herb can help stabilize the body’s physiological processes that improve your stress response. It has been shown to cause significant improvements in the symptoms of stress and anxiety in the test subjects.

According to one study, Ashwagandha proved to be more effective in relieving anxiety symptoms than psychotherapy. Those subjected to naturopathic treatment also showed a better general quality of life, social functioning, concentration, and mental health than those who underwent psychotherapy.

Exercise to relieve tension, lift mood and improve concentration:

Exercise has a wide range of benefits, both physical and mental. It can reduce fatigue, help you feel more alert, and improve cognitive function and concentration. All these combinations make you more capable of dealing with stressful situations.

Exercise also increases the levels of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which elevate your mood, relieve tension and allow you to sleep better. As a result, your levels of nervousness and anxiety should decrease naturally.

The research suggests that physically active people have a lower anxiety index than those who lead a sedentary life.

Even a 10-minute walk could be helpful if you currently have nothing. Slowly build up, and shoot for at least 30 minutes of regular aerobic exercise every day. You could swim, jog, run or cycle.

Try acupuncture to modify the flow of energy and relieve anxiety:

The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture is known to help people with anxiety problems. Now there is a growing body of research to help support it. During an acupuncture session, needles are inserted in specific body points to modify energy flow and correct imbalances.

Use cognitive behavioral therapy to change your behavior and thought patterns:

The cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) course is a widely recommended treatment for anxiety problems. It involves working closely with a therapist to identify their thinking and behavior patterns and learn to change them for the better.

Over time, this process should help you feel more controlled and more confident; both are the ideal antidotes against nervousness.

Make lifestyle changes to prevent and overcome nervousness and anxiety:

Plan ahead: If you know what to expect and have an established program, it is less likely to dissolve into a pool of nerves.

Please do not leave things at the last moment, be it a big work project or a family event. Have the details resolved in advance?

Prepare for contingencies and make backup plans. That way, you will be at your best when you need to be well prepared if a problem arises.

Get enough sleep: the importance of sleep can not be emphasized enough. If you lose your sleep, you are more likely to feel anxiety. On top of that, your performance and concentration may suffer.

It is known that lack of sleep causes anxiety symptoms such as excessive worry, fear, and tension.

Do not skip meals: skipping meals can cost you vital nutrition and make it work at suboptimal levels. You need to feed your body to be at its best.

Eat healthy and balanced meals: eating well is as essential as eating regularly. For example, a vitamin deficiency may help exacerbate feelings of nervousness and anxiety.

In particular, a deficiency of vitamin B6 can cause fatigue and anxiety, confusion, changes in mood, and other signs of depression.

A deficiency of vitamin B12 could leave you chronically stressed due to memory problems, confusion, and depression. Your body needs such vitamins for the concentration and functioning of the nervous system.

Reduce your caffeine intake: if you are a coffee or tea drinker, it may be time to decrease your habit a bit. Much caffeine can induce anxiety symptoms, especially social anxiety.

For those prone to anxiety, the effects of caffeine are incredibly potent. If you can not avoid it altogether, try to limit yourself to one cup per day.

Talk about it: friends, family, colleagues, or therapists can be your most significant support when you lack confidence or face problems too big for you to do yourself. A conversation with a trusted person may be just what you need.

How to eliminate the nervousness of the job interview:

We have all experienced the roller coaster ride involving getting an interview for a great job.

The euphoria and relief of the first phone call that lets us know that we are at the door, along with the sudden and overwhelming fear of impending performance, are enough to make anyone turn around.

It does not have to be this way; fortunately for all (including introverts), we can adjust our approach to an extensive interview to be less nervous about it.

Here are three things you can do to channel your nervousness towards trust properly:

Change “scared” to “excited”:

First, stop telling me that you are nervous. Your heart may be beating hard and sweating a little more than usual, but you know what? We have the same reaction when we are also very excited.

Research shows that the primary hormone released when you are afraid (cortisol) is the same hormone released when excited. Fear submerges us in a negative direction, while emotion catapults us into a positive one.

Then, win! Every time you start telling yourself that you are nervous about an interview, remind yourself that nervous energy also fuels excited energy. Then channel that energy to prepare for the discussion and perform it.

Prepare early and often:

Attention delayers, waiting until the night before an extensive interview will not do you any favors when remembering your material.

It is convenient to practice the answers of your interview (using many good stories about your skills in the workplace) using the print-association-repeat approach a few days before your interview.

Using a combination of sensory impressions, word and story associations, and repetition to study your interview materials will help you fully process your interview responses.

As a result, your conversation will be more natural, and you will remember everything you want to remember when the opportunity to speak about your skills and achievements comes up.

Change your seat with your interviewer:

Here is another mental change you should make, when you are nervous about an interview, approach it as if you were the interviewer.

After all, interviews are not a one-way street; It is suitable for you to roast the potential company as well, so you know what you are getting into and see if you want the job in the first place.

Lower bets:

When we are nervous about an interview, the intense emotions come from what is at stake: a job you need, a job you want, or simply your reputation.

However, what if you decided there was nothing in the interview? Decrease bets by determining that you can not accept work if offered.

Approach this tete-a-tete as an informational meeting that you will use to decide whether or not to hold a second meeting, not the work itself.

If you can not stop wanting the job, at least decide that you will not make any decisions or assumptions about the employment until your second interview. In this way, you can reduce the pressure from one meeting to another.

It is natural to be nervous about an interview. After all, not everyone wakes up excited to convince strangers to hire them. However, using these tips, you are on a straight path to reduce nervousness and interview as the excellent job candidate you are.

Simple habits to overcome nervousness

Prepare if possible:

It is a bit obvious, but do your preparation on time, not at the last minute, and do it well, without trying to do it perfectly. Instead of doing it carelessly, it makes a big difference.

You will feel more confident about yourself and relax about what you are about to do.

  • If you have an important meeting, do your homework to know what will emerge or emerge at the meeting.
  • If you have an appointment, you may try to think of 2-to 3 exciting topics/questions in case the conversation flow stops.
  • If you have a job interview, think about what they can ask you and find some good answers.

Ask yourself: what is the worst that could happen realistically?

This question has helped me calm down and stop building a mountain in the middle of a worm.

Because the worst thing that happened when I was dating was that I had a rather uncomfortable date with someone I did not have good chemistry with. It did not lead to a second date, and, sometimes, I felt terrible for a day or two. Moreover, that was practically everything.

However, the sky did not fall because it was the wrong date. I got up the following day again, and I often learned something good.

Visualize positively:

It is so easy to get caught up in the usual negative visualizations in your mind of how the situation is going. And then you get nervous.

Try to rest a moment the next time you have a date, party, or next meeting.

Only this time, allow yourself to see things positively.

Here is how to do it:

  • Lie on your bed or sit somewhere comfortable. Close your eyes.
  • See how big the situation will develop in your mind: see and hear, and how great you will feel in this meeting. Look at yourself being positive, open, and having fun with a smile on your face. Moreover, see the excellent result you want in your mind.
  • Then release visualizing that it has already happened, that the meeting has ended with the desired result. This is surprisingly effective and will take you to a good, safe, and relaxed headspace even before entering the conference room, classroom, or pub.
  • Test it and see how this exercise works for you. Maybe it becomes something you want to keep doing.

Slow down and breathe with your belly:

A few minutes before entering the situation that makes you nervous, slow down. Walk slower to the meeting place. Move more slowly. Even stop for a minute if you wish and stay still.

Then breathe through the nose. Breathe more profound than usual, and make sure you live with your belly, not your chest (a common problem when people get stressed or nervous).

Concentrate only on your slow inhalation and exhalation for one or two minutes, only in the air going in and out of your nose.

This will reassure you, make it easier to think normally again, and that unique approach can take you back to this moment instead of past failures or future concerns.

Assume the relationship in social situations:

After you have slowed down and concentrated on your breathing, I have another excellent habit if you still feel a little nervous and get into some social situation. This worked exceptionally well for me when I was single and was dating. Moreover, it is also beneficial just before any other type of meeting.

The habit is to assume a good relationship. This means that just before you meet someone, you pretend, and you think that you are meeting one of your best friends.

Then, naturally, it will slide into an emotional state and mood much more relaxed, comfortable, safe, and pleasant. The conversation flows more naturally in this state of mind, too, without much thought, as with your friends.

People do not think about you or what you do:

You can feel that everyone is watching, judging, and thinking a lot about you. And then you get nervous, or you hold back in life.

However, a sobering realization that I have had over the years is that people do not care much about what you do.

You can think a lot about what you do and say does not mean that others do too. They have their plate full of doing the same thing as you: concentrating on themselves, their pets and children, and their challenges at this moment in time.

This realization may make you feel a little less critical. However, it also frees you more to do what you want to do in life.

Convince yourself that you are excited:

Take advantage of the nervous energy in something that helps you.

If you can not minimize nervousness in some situations by using the advice above, then take a different approach.

When the nervousness arises, tell yourself that you are excited about the meeting, the presentation, etc. This helps you to change the perspective of what is happening inside you, and I have discovered that it allows me to get a boost of enthusiasm.

Then I can enter that meeting with that mentality and emotional state more useful. Moreover, within minutes of the meeting, the excited energy was generally used helpfully, and I felt more relaxed and centered again.

Address the nervousness before the competitions:

Everyone gets a little nervous before a great game or sporting event. However, for those who experience the severe symptoms associated with a social anxiety disorder (SAD), the quality of their athletic performance will often suffer.

The relationship between anxiety and sports performance is so strong that a whole field of psychology, the psychology of sports, has been dedicated to helping athletes fight nerves.

Fortunately, you can use a series of strategies to help overcome the nervousness of the day of play and control anxiety before it gets out of control.


Many elite athletes use visualization to improve performance, build confidence, and control anxiety. Visualization, also known as imagery or mental rehearsal, involves imagining yourself competing successfully in a sporting event.

To make the visualization work, close your eyes and imagine the physical movements you would do to succeed in the competition. Try to imagine yourself moving at the same speed you would in real life.

Also, make sure you imagine from your perspective, not from that of an observer. You should see the scene (the crowd, the field) as you would if you were there, without seeing yourself competing.

Any tips to make the visualization work? Do what you can to make the imagined experience seem as accurate as possible.

If going to an empty soccer field and sitting on the bench helps you make the imagined experience more authentic, do it anyway.

If crowd noise is likely to distract you during a competition, see if you can find an audio recording with crowd noises that you can play while viewing the event.

Whatever you can do to make the imagined experience real will help you translate what you imagine into what you achieve.

Set goals:

Clearly defined goals help measure success, but too high goals can leave you overwhelmed and unsure of your abilities. Choose achievable but challenging plans, and when possible, divide the tasks into smaller parts with a series of short-term goals.

Relaxation techniques:

Relaxation techniques help reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as an increased heart rate, tense muscles, and rapid and shallow breathing.

These techniques can be used before a performance or competition and can be particularly useful when practiced the night before or in the hours leading up to an event to help keep nerves at bay.

Two of the most common relaxation techniques are diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.

Cognitive restructuring:

Cognitive restructuring refers to changing habitual ways of thinking.

In the case of anxiety about athletic performance, cognitive restructuring helps you evaluate bodily arousal differently, much in the same way that elite athletes channel excitement to emotion and the ability to accept the excitement. Challenge.

Changing the way you think about competitions can also be helpful.

The plan always gives the best of you, regardless of how important you think a competition, allows you to assign less importance to the leading competitors and, in turn, reduces anxiety about your performance.

Knowing your thoughts and feelings is also key to managing the cognitive symptoms of anxiety.

Recognizing negative thoughts when they first enter your mind allows you to stop them before they settle down so you can replace them with more positive ones.

Develop self-confidence:

It can be hard to imagine trusting a competition if it usually collapses under pressure.

However, you can take specific measures to help increase self-confidence. Focus on past successes instead of failures. Make practice and preparation a priority, and continue until there is no doubt about your ability to succeed.

Do you still have problems with self-confidence? Remember to visualize. Imagine competing with confidence repeatedly until it becomes your new reality.

Get distracted:

Of course, you will not want to get distracted during a competition, but immediately before, why not? Talk to your teammates or other competitors, read a book, listen to music, whatever helps your mind not generate negative thoughts.

Focus on what you can control:

If you find yourself worried about who is in the crowd watching you or that the other competitors are better than you, remember that these are aspects of the competition that are out of your control.

You can control your performance, how well prepared you are, and how well you implement techniques and strategies, such as progressive muscle relaxation and metaphors.

Unfortunately, some people experience severe anxiety in situations of athletic performance that are not improved by using self-help strategies.

Sometimes just visiting a therapist can increase the usefulness of these strategies, first because you are responsible to someone for your work and your progress. Second, there is someone who believes you can improve.

If your symptoms worsen, consider talking to your doctor or requesting a referral to a mental health professional who can determine if you meet the criteria for a diagnosis of social anxiety disorder and what type of treatment is best suited for your situation.