No matter how confident you are, everyone faces anxiety and nerves from time to time. It might be public speaking that gets you jittery, an important social event or life change coming up, or just a tough day at the office. Whatever the cause there are many simple ways you can fight those fears and banish the nerves.
Take a moment to yourself, take a deep breath, and try some of these eight easy ways to quash your anxiety right now.
1. Think of the Big Picture
Often, things that worry you at the moment may not be as big of a deal in the future. Maybe it’s an important conversation with your boss or an argument with a friend. It might be upsetting or stressful in the days leading up to it, but you can try to calm down by looking further into the future. Look at the big picture and consider if this will matter in a week, a month, or even a year from now. If it isn’t such a life-altering issue and you can take a moment to step out of the present, then you might be able to look at things from one step back and breathe a little easier.
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2. Get Some Rest
You’ll be more likely to get nervous, shaky, and anxious if you aren’t well-rested.
Make sure to get enough sleep in the nights before your big presentation so you feel well-rested and settled. If you’re running on caffeine and no sleep, you could be more worried about making mistakes and you might miss something important if you can’t focus. You can settle your brain, breathe easier, and feel more confident when your body and mind are well-rested.
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3. Eat Healthy
Similar to needing enough rest, your body also requires nutrition and balanced meals to banish anxiety. Loading up on junk food or skipping meals won’t help you fight the stress and will likely make it worse. To make sure your whole body, mind, and emotions are stable, try to eat healthy meals and get enough protein, carbs, and fat to keep you feeling full and satisfied. Stabilizing your body will help keep your brain calm and combat stress.
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4. Stay Positive
Oftentimes, when you start to feel stressed or anxious, it’s due to overthinking and assuming the worst. If you take a step back and turn around your perspective you’ll be able to feel better about any situation. Instead of dwelling on the worst-case scenario try imaging all the ways it could go right or what the positive aspects are. Finding the light at the end of the tunnel and keeping a good attitude will make you feel better and more confident, which can help you nail that meeting or rock that presentation.
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5. Go Easy On Yourself
Have you ever considered that you might be your own worst enemy? You’ll be the one person overanalyzing every word of that big presentation or speech, while the audience looks on and claps at the right times. They don’t know what your first, second, or fifth draft looked like and they won’t know if you skip a line or mix up the order by accident. You’re usually the closest person to your own problems so you’ll have a microscopic view of every little detail and potential mistake. Remember that the audience won’t know if you make a few little mistakes here and there, so go a little easier on yourself.
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6. Talk It Out
Keeping your worries and concerns bottled up inside will make it harder for you to step back and stay positive. Get a fresh perspective by talking to a close friend, family member, mentor, or other trusted source. If you’d prefer to talk to a non-biased third party, online therapy is a great resource. Hearing some encouragement or words of wisdom might help you get a better mindset and lift some of the stress you feel.
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7. Learn Your Triggers
Anxiety tends to stem from a fear of failure or an uncomfortable situation, so think about what exactly makes you so nervous. Once you know the trigger, you can target it directly or work on strategies to help you overcome the issue. For example, if public speaking always gets to you, then maybe you’d benefit from a class or book that can provide tips on how to present yourself and boost confidence.
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8. Distract Yourself
Instead of spending every waking minute worrying about an upcoming meeting or stressing about something far off into the future, try to take some time away from it. Go for a walk, see a movie, hang out with a friend, or just zone out on Netflix for a few hours. Taking a break and distracting yourself will lighten your mood, ease some anxiety, and let you come back with a brighter attitude and new outlook. Be sure not to spend too much time distracting yourself, and find a balance between work and play to keep yourself from burning out.
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