We all know how it physically feels to be nervous- it’s not great! Sweaty palms, a racing heartbeat, and feeling like you’ve got a lump in your throat are all tell-tale signs that your body is reacting to something in your environment that’s got you feeling anxious.
Feeling nervous from time to time is a big part of being a human being, and what can make one person nervous can be completely different from what makes another person feel nervous!
Remember how many times in school you may have avoided speaking in front of the class? On the other hand, maybe your best friend never felt nervous speaking in front of others, but the thought of an upcoming test made them sleepless the night before.
But no matter what makes you feel anxious, there are some techniques that everyone can use to get through it!
When I was a teenager, I was super involved in choir and theater, which meant lots of performances and LOTS of nerves to go with them! Here are some of the tips I picked up back then- and now, I often use these tricks to calm myself down before big events in my career- such as interviews, presentations, and meetings.
Try some of them out next time you are feeling anxious about something at work and let us know what works best for you!
Breathing techniques: hold and release and alternating nostrils
Take a breath in through your nose and hold it for 5 seconds, then release and exhale through your mouth for 6 seconds. Breathe in again through your nose again and hold it for 6 seconds this time. Then release and exhale through your mouth for 7 seconds.
Repeat this process, adding one second on to both the inhale and the exhale until you reach however many seconds feels comfortable to you. Stop increasing seconds on the inhale and exhale when you start to feel yourself straining to breathe in, or straining to push air out. Slow breathing slows down your heart rate too, and the slower your heart rate is the more relaxed all your muscles and body will feel.
Another technique: Press one of your nostrils closed with your thumb and breathe in through your other nostril. Exhale through your mouth, and as you exhale release your thumb and press the opposite nostril closed instead.
It should feel like you’re making one fluid movement, where each time you start to exhale through your mouth, you also start to move your finger over from one nostril to the other. This exercise looks ridiculous if anyone is watching you, but it works!
Studies in psychology have shown that positive thinking can increase the chance of accomplishing goals. Try thinking of the big event you have coming up, as a goal you want to accomplish. An article form Psychology today even suggests that sometimes it’s even better to do more then just think positively. Get in front of a mirror and talk to yourself! Try phrases like “you’ve got this,” or “I am a cool, calm, and collected and I can do this,” or whatever else feels right to you!
If that feels a little too weird to you, try writing some positive thoughts down somewhere where you can see them in the days leading up to the event that is making you nervous.
Or, take the lead from this little girl, who’s self-affirmation video went viral because 1. It’s adorable. And 2, she is a great example of this practice in action!
You can also check out this video of a Dad and daughter practicing positive affirmations in the mirror together- also adorable, and also a great example of positive affirmations in work!
Remember your place in the grand scheme of things- and take some of the pressure off
We live in big, amazing world. There are places and people in this world that you may never meet or see but were all connected by the human experience. And nervousness is part of that!
Remind yourself that the person you will interview with has felt nervous before too, and they might even be nervous to interview you as well! Remember that this experience, whether it is an interview, presentation, or meeting, is just small part of life. No matter what happens the sun will still set and rise again like it always has- and at the end of the day, your hardest critic is most likely yourself!
So next time your feeling nervous, try one of these simple tips, and you’ll be cool as a cucumber!
We take pride in the fact that each of our Staffing Specialists are extremely professional but also approachable. They are trained to get to know you beyond your resume, so that we can find a job that fits your interests and personality. Don’t let nerves stop you from interviewing for your new career- we are rooting for you! Schedule an appointment today by giving us a call or reaching out on Facebook.