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Nervousness plays a large role in our lives; first dates, job interviews, presentations, tests, and other social activities can cause nervousness. It is not uncommon to feel butterflies in your stomach, have sweaty palms, and fidget a little when you are feeling nervous but how can we get rid of these feelings?

Be prepared
Nervousness can strike when you are ill prepared for a situation such as a presentation or a public speaking event. If you don’t prepare notes, study for the big test, or practice your speech, you are bound to experience nervousness. If you have a date try to think of interesting topics you can discuss the night before so you won’t get stuck in an awkward moment.

If it is a speech or public speaking event you are feeling nervous about then you should practice your speech until you have it memorized and can repeat it without making any mistakes. Try to prepare yourself for the type of questions you may be asked about your speech so that you can answer them without anxiety. Try reciting your speech in front of friends or relatives so that you can get the feel of a public audience before you have to face it. If you are used to a few faces staring back at you, you will do much better on stage.

What’s the worst that could happen?
Ask yourself “what’s the worst that could happen?” Really, what will happen if you do badly at something? The answer usually is nothing that bad. It is easy to get wrapped up in the moment and blow things way out of proportion right before the big test, date, or presentation. Nervousness does not have to rule your life; most of the time we will think that it may be the end of the world if we don’t pass a test, but in reality you can probably retake the test. Most of the time these aren’t life and death situations so ask yourself what the big deal is.

Breathing exercises
Feeling nervous can cause us to feel short of breath, have chest pains, and feel as if we are chocking. Using a few breathing techniques can help solve this problem. Just take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a few seconds, and then release the breath out through your mouth. Do this a few times and you will find that your nervousness will start to decrease and you can go on and face your challenge.

Stay in the moment
Think about today not what is going to happen tomorrow or the next day or even the rest of your life. If your date goes badly it doesn’t mean that you will be alone for the rest of your life but that you can find someone else to go out with later. There is no point in worrying yourself to death; don’t think of the last date you had, or the last time you were interviewed for a job and don’t think “what if”.

Nervousness will always be a part of our lives but it doesn’t have to rule them. You can overcome your nervousness and go on to live a better life for it.