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Ep. 85 Help! I'm Nervous!

by Claudine Sweeney
July 14th 2021

Nervousness is one of those uncomfortable emotions that flow through our body quite often. Although nervousness and anxiety feel very similar, nervousness is quicker to move on. In today's episode,... More

This is episode 85 what to do about nervousness. You're listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the Rise up and Shine podcast Yeah, Hi everyone and welcome back today, we are talking about nervousness and dealing with those nerves and sometimes this can be a little bit confusing because we can feel nervous about a situation but then we can also feel anxious and so those two things can actually get quite mixed up, you know whether you're feeling anxiety or nervousness and obviously they are emotions um anxiety tends to have more of a physical component along with that, I know many people who have struggled with anxiety, including myself have gotten panic attacks and I mean you know there's very distinct differences between these two.

So we actually wanted to start this episode off, we're talking about those differences to get a clear understanding of what nervousness is and how it differs from anxiety because anxiety is definitely a very different um topic and more in depth because it's deeply rooted, whereas nervousness is just basically more of a short term response to a situation um and so yeah, I know I've definitely felt nervous before, have you felt nervous cloudy, I felt nervous two days ago You did? I did. I have struggled with a great story? I do have a great story. I have struggled with nervousness probably my whole life. I was certainly an introvert but also shy. So being in social situations was very difficult for me. And then I married to a man who is outgoing in an extrovert. So very different personalities. So then we were In situations a lot of time beyond what I felt comfortable with.

So there's a lot of stress and so then the body reacts with that even short term things. So even for me, interestingly enough, 30 years ago is trying to go to church, made me nervous, especially if my husband were to walk away from me and talk to someone else. You know, it was very nerve racking for me and you feel totally alone and exposed, right? And in the beginning our church was meeting is a large groups over there were thousands of people that wasn't like 23 over thousands. Gosh! But even 30 years later, even now in my mature wise stage of life, I could still feel nervous. So we're getting ready to move into a new neighborhood. We have not moved into our home yet but we had a neighborhood party kind of a meet the neighbors type thing which I was really excited about but also really nervous about. And excitement and nervousness can be similar feelings in the body. Like I'm so excited to meet my neighbors, but I'm so nervous, right? Because here we are moving in. What if they don't like me?

What if I don't like them? What if you know all the what ifs? And I think we get nervous when we start thinking about the what ifs right? We're not thinking the best things we're not thinking about, wow. What if we're all best friends going forward? We're usually the things that make us nervous in a situation that is new for us and you experience for us is we think the what ifs in a negative way, right? What if I fail like damn. We think worst case scenario and that's what makes us nervous because if we're thinking best case that it would just, you know, we would um it would swing over to excitement, right? But so I was feeling both on sunday and I just really had to think and I was being dropped off alone. My husband was there early and I had an appointment before that. So I was getting dropped off. So now I have to walk by myself again, I don't like, it's hard for me to go into a social situation where I don't know anybody and walking by myself, once I start talking to someone, I'm fine, I've certainly honed my social skills over the year and now I can handle myself in new situations with people, but it's that walking up like everyone's like, yeah, okay, okay, okay.

But I was feeling really nervous which was so strange because I don't struggle with that as much, but we were a couple days ago and I was really struggling with it. So that's why we're doing this episode because I feel like if I'm still struggling with it decades after learning, I don't think I'm the only one I think getting nervous about new situations is pretty common. Oh sure we do have tips and practical for that, don't we? Well and I think to we don't always stop to pay attention to what we're feeling. You know, we just notice discomfort and then we behave in a certain way whichever way it's different for everybody I tend to avoid. So if I'm feeling if I'm feeling uncomfortable about a situation then I'll probably just not go, especially if it's a social thing or I same with you, I don't want to go by myself, it's very uncomfortable and so then I don't know like I do, I can tend to get so nervous and just get stuck in my head and frozen almost, you know, it's that fight flight.

That's that's the thing. Even nervousness just like anxiety, it's very similar but it's a short term, but nervousness is in the fight or flight. You know there's a threat, there is a potential threat let's say um there's a potential danger there may very well not be which most of the case there is not but it's our brain still activates as if danger, danger. And so we have to recognize that and said, OK, and just make the choice that's going to give you what you want, the result that you want. Because I know for myself and I felt nervous about a situation and I avoid then I feel shame and I'm like man and I feel bad about myself why and I feel so weak and powerless and you know, gosh, this isn't what I want to do. And then then I'm stuck in those thought patterns. Whereas I realized if I can just challenge myself and put myself out there and go to this event or do this thing or speak to this person and I get through those uncomfortable feelings, accept them.

It's going to feel uncomfortable. That's normal as normal human feelings and pushed myself through it. Then it goes away, it goes away and I feel proud of myself. I feel better. I feel happier. I don't feel the shame, you know, that's attack attached to my coping, which is like, I'm just going to avoid at all costs because I don't want to feel any of the just but really paying attention to ourselves and being in tuned to our bodies, our thoughts, our feelings when those situations arise because when we know nervousness is short term and it will pass then you just feel so much better, right? I'm sure after once you walked in and you got there, I know like hearing your stories today, you were raving about you like, oh my gosh, this person, I love that person and they have more parties everywhere, moving into a neighborhood like this and what you're like ah this is too uncomfortable, I think I'm going to leave, you know, then you would not have been able to get that experience and you would have felt bad about yourself and then I know for myself I would have been like, gosh, now the neighbors are going to think of me as you know, this coward or not friendly aloof maybe, you know, and I didn't even think of those things more for you, more reasons I could have been, you know, well you made a great point.

That's, that's the first practical is realizing that this is a natural response. Like our brains are wired to protect us, right? We want to be safe, we want to be comfortable, secure at all times. That's the way our brains are wired. So any time we're encountering a new experience, it's going to create a physiological and um emotional, you know, uh feelings. So then what we do with it, right, that's our, can we go forward in a healthy way or are we gonna pull back and like you said, maybe struggle with shame or guilt or bad feelings and feeling disempowered and all that. So the first one is just realizing it's a natural response like everybody feels this like any time we're going into a new situation, we might feel this some people more to a greater or less extent and more often or less often. I mean there's certain people that I am sure super confident in all areas, but I'm not one of them, I don't think you're one of them and I don't know too many of those people.

So even like a job interview now, you can't back out of a job interview because you know, you're not going to get the job if you don't go. So for sure if you're looking for a job and you have an interview, you're going to have to go. But that can be very stressful. That could create a lot of nervousness first date. It's been a really long time for either one of us to our first take many decades for me. But I remember I can think back, that was so there's so many nerves with that, you know when you get sweaty palms and your heart starts beating fast and your stomach feels queasy, at least that's how it was for me, physically. Those are sensations I get. Um but you know, if I want to have, if I had a hope of getting married, I was going to have to go on a first date, like no one, I was not going to do an arranged marriage. So I had to do that. So there's a lot of good reasons things we want to do and accomplish. But the nervousness is just and natural response and we can overcome that feeling. Oh absolutely. And like we mentioned earlier, nervousness a short term.

So keep that in mind. You know, it's going to subside. You know, once you put yourself in that situation and you get through it, it's gone, it's gone. And I want to reiterate what you said about the physical symptoms because a lot of times, like I said, we don't even recognize it, you know, I mean one we talked about how you can be worried and excited at the same time. You know, it causes an increase in heart rate, sweaty, sweaty palms, I can feel cold sweats, you know, and I'll get jittery. Um, and feel butterflies in your stomach. You have an increased alertness to, because your brain is hyper alert, pumping, that adrenaline, we've got to be alert because again, we think there's a potential danger threat. So these are the natural bodies, this is the natural body's response to feeling nervous, you know, anxiety again is different because that lingers and when you get through a situation, it's still there, you're still feeling that way. But when, you know, when you can identify, okay, I'm just feeling nervous for this event or I'm feeling nervous about maybe even a family dinner because maybe there's some challenge with family members or like you said, going to a new environment church or a first date, whatever it may be a job interview, um still feeling that nervous nervousness, just reminding yourself that this will pass and very quickly, it will pass very quickly and you end up having a great experience.

So definitely identifying that as you said, and one thing I wanted to mention also is I tend to focus on the excitement aspect of it, because, you know, as you mentioned, when we focus on the worst case scenario, that's going to be the experience you have, you know, you're going to be like, that was horrible, but most of it was because you're in your own head, and so if we picture ourselves in the best case scenario, then it's just going to go better, you know, I mean, it's going to give us more encouragement and empowerment, to feel courage and to be able to, you know, put ourselves out there and then we end up having a much better time. Yeah, and that's that's such a good point, just really putting ourselves into a positive headspace, really having that positive perspective, visualizing it going great because nervousness is really, it's preparing our body for a perceived threat or something that could go wrong, right, we want to keep ourselves safe and um when we really think positive makes such a difference and, you know, to really do that, just keep that desired outcome in the forefront of your head, don't overthink the negative, don't think the what ifs or, you know, the worst case scenario, but really have that perspective, if it's gonna go great, That is so helpful.

That helps me a lot, you know, it's true because sunday evening for this party, I really just pictured it going great and really didn't. I mean I left there was I was on fire was like, this is amazing, Everyone was so nice, everyone was so warm, I can't wait to move there in a couple of weeks. It was a great opportunity even though I was certainly nervous going going into it. And another thing that helps is be prepared if it's an exam or an interview or anything being prepared, do a little bit of prepper for me. One thing I do in social situations is I prepare myself by reminding myself that it's not about me, that's what helps me when I go into use social situations, I'm like this is not about me, I'm not trying to win a contest, I'm trying to be the most popular girl or the best dressed girl in the room because neither of those are ever going to happen. So, but I I prepare myself by how can I be giving I I have a topic, obviously we're all new in this neighborhood, so that was an easy given.

I didn't have to do a lot of research there to come up with a clever question or two, but I really think about the other person, how can I make this about them and them feeling better, so that's how I prepare for social situations um which are usually for me at this stage in my life where I encountered nervousness Yeah, you know I do the same thing, even some awkward dinner times or with people that maybe there's some tension, I have gone into those situations, okay, just with the mindset to serve to help to what can I do, you know, what can I do for you? I could do the dishes, do you need help cooking? So it almost gives me this task, you know, to focus on and it's a good distractions because then you're focused on that and you're not focused on those, what if in the worst case scenario or even just focusing on how uncomfortable it is because I know when I sit and think about how uncomfortable it is, I'm just reinforcing that and I'm feeling more uncomfortable and I'm just sitting in this uncomfortable place and start complaining and why am I?

But if I give myself a task then it distracts me from that and you know, you just, you're doing something for other people and you feel good right? How can I serve you? Um and that's actually a really great practical one that kind of goes along with that is setting up a boundary, you know, I kind of call it this escape boundary, so that could even be grounding, you know whether you have a necklace or something in your pocket, where you just kind of fiddle with, if things are a little uncomfortable, um that's helpful or it's a social situation if you have the opportunity to bring a friend with you, so you're not feeling totally alone and exposed and vulnerable. Um that's helpful. Also when I go to certain situations where I know I know at least one person I have my job of showing up and I'm going to find that one person I know and I go directly to them, so having certain things in place, like a plan, right, that will help make it a little easier because that's okay, that's okay to have a little bit of support or have a plan like that to help get you through those uncomfortable feelings and then again, they'll subside and you'll feel great and you'll have a good time.

It's so funny you say that because I didn't even have to plan or ask, but my husband knows me so well that I was getting dropped off and he was inside at the one neighbor that we did know in their house helping cook. And he said just text me when you get here so I can come outside and I thought that was so thoughtful, like he knows how overwhelming it is for me to come into new social situations where I don't know people and um it was funny, I ended up being so late, but he was already out there and he's very tall. So he stands out. So luckily as I was walking, I saw exactly where he was and I did that very thing. I mean lying straight to him like hi honey and then I'm here, I'm here, I'm safe, I'm safe. Yeah, so um but yeah, he knows me well enough to like I better, I better be outside when she gets here. This is hard for her. I didn't even have to say it. So I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I don't know if you know this about me, but this is a newer revelation I had about myself feeling uncomfortable in certain situations.

I think I'm pretty sure one of the reasons why I have a water bottle or a coffee mug with me all the time because that's like my grounding. So it's something to hold onto that I can just kind of mentally focus on that helps me get through uncomfortable situations. It is really interesting. I've been asking myself this for gosh, I think a couple of years and noticing why do I always have to have something with me, like a cup of water or a can of sparkling water coffee for a while, that's my coffee mug always had to have. That is so interesting. It was comforting to me. We find so funny. That is funny, but it's good that you had that awareness to see what helped you write Another helpful one for me when we're talking about the physical sensations is deep breathing. We talk about this all the time and we both have resources on our websites. Either Mind over chaos dot com or Clotting Sweeney dot com, but deep breathing can help alleviate some of those symptoms, some of the sweaty palms and the fluttering heart and the stomach.

And although because it helps calm the system, especially when we exhale, it helps our heart rate go down and it's just, it's good to focus, you know, and to focus on something, it kind of takes your mind off of those crazy thought cycles that we're doing. Um yeah, the breathing is really important. I want to add to this just really quick. It has really helped. Um I know I've mentioned before on the podcast, but when I breathe, I think it's like blowing this dandy lion right? Like you're making a wish. And that has really helped because when you and I both have talked and I actually had a recent conversation with someone else who does the exact same thing. Um when we feel this overwhelm of stress or nervousness, we hold our breath right? And that is something this woman realized I didn't realize I did that. Yeah, me too. And I'm like, yeah, I know several people myself included that when we feel this nervousness or this overwhelm of stress that we just hold our breath. And so that's another main reason why really focus on your breathing because if you do that too then you feel worse physically.

But the breathing actually physiologically helps calm you down and it's really powerful. It's not, I know for so many years I've heard I know I just breathe just breathing exercise and I never really gave it much of a chance because I would try to do. I just did one that didn't work for me and actually made me feel really lightheaded. And so then I wrote off all this breathing exercises. But as I did more research, there's a ton of different types of breathing and the one that works for me is called nostril breathing. So if you want to look that up, I shared this with my friend, the nostril breathing was very calming and soothing and just works instantly for myself at least. And so give it a try um try different types of breathing because not all of them work, you know, for individuals. Yeah, it's such a great point. And another thing that works for me, which we're kind of doing right now is talking it through, talk it through with someone talking through the friend, a family member of coach.

I mean sometimes we need to talk through it to get to see maybe a positive side tour, talk through our feelings and change our thoughts and that's what you and I work on. We help people get healthy thoughts and find healthy thoughts in different ways to think about circumstances so that we can feel good, right? So that we don't feel stressed or anxious or nervous or depressed, but we can change that by just changing our thoughts and a lot of times it's just talking it through with someone and sometimes even talking out loud, I found myself where I'm talking loud with someone about what I'm nervous about and then I realized it's actually kind of silly and I'm like, oh, never mind. It's not that bad. You know, once we get it out, it's not as bad as the way it is in our head, you're getting perspective. Wait isn't that bad when really I think what happens to most of us, if not all of us when where faced with whatever the situation is that we're feeling nervous about, we feel like, well that's just the way it is, that's the way it's going to be.

And so it feels like truth to us, but when we start talking with someone and talking out loud, praying about it even um and just gaining some perspective and it helps us to process and realize, okay, this isn't really that dangerous of a situation, it's really not a big threat. Um and it empowers us more to be like, you know, I think I got it, I can do this, like it's going to be tough, it's going to be uncomfortable. But I can push myself and I can do it and it is so helpful because um you know if if you really ask yourself, what do I who do I want to be, what do I want my life to look like? I know we don't all grow up thinking I'm just going to be the shy little girl sitting in the corner not attending anything because I'm so uncomfortable and shy, but um you know, and fearful, but just really, no, I want to be empowered. I want to feel confident. I want to stand tall and walk in and look people in the eye. That's a tough one for me. Look people in the eye and just have a fun conversation and you know, I liked what you said earlier too is even just having like a couple talking points when you go into a social situation because I feel like I don't know what to say to people, but when I tell myself, I don't know what to say to people then I don't have anything to say.

You're shutting down your brain thinking things too so I can change this and be like, okay, let's see, I have these two topics. Maybe I can bring up and see what people and usually it's either kids or movies. Well, you know, it's so funny because my big talking point, Sundays, what floor plan do you have? I thought there is a pretty popular, you know, we're all new, there's like your plans, but some of them have been there two years breaker. Right, right. I think everyone, I asked that. I don't know. It's like, okay, that's the real turn me that knows floor plans because that was one of my select floor plan. Do you have? And I mean almost to the one that is so funny. They're like, I don't know. I'm like, oh, I was like, shoot that. Cut down my now. What? So then I jumped two kids. How many kids do you? Yeah, there you go. What do you find work outside the home? I maybe it was so funny, but I was like, that was like, I was so prepared with my, what floor plan do you have? And there are like, I don't know, I have four bedrooms. I'm like, oh, okay. Never mind.

You know what I like to do? I like to try and make people laugh because it helps me through uncomfortable situations. And then I feel like if they have a sense of humor, then we can get along pretty well. I've tried that too. But sometimes that backfires. And then I'm not funny. It's like, oh, that fell flat every month. So I have learned I'm not going to be the most popular, the best dressed or the funniest. I have just given up on all those. I'm like, you know what I'm doing. Yeah. And I don't have to be any of those things, but I love this scripture. I'm going to share this. Um but Joshua one night. It says do not be afraid. Don't get discouraged. God, your God is with you every step you take. And so when I am feeling nervous, whether I have to meet a new group of people or on occasion, you know, a church on occasion, I get up and share publicly or speak publicly. Which creates nerves for, I don't know who, It doesn't mean I don't know anybody who's just like, I just can't wait to get up in front of hundreds of people and share or speak or whatever.

But anyway, I think about that and I'm like, I'm not alone. I'm not alone. God is with me. And sometimes I just talked to him. I'm like, okay, just direct me to the nice ones here. Direct me to the fun ones he sure did on sunday, That's great. Such a great time. I can't wait for our next party steve. I'm not nervous about it at all. Fantastic. And I want to come along too because it sounds amazing. It's a great neighborhood. I like there in spirit. Yeah, you'll see me often. Yeah, you'll see me often. So anyway, nervousness, a natural response that so many of us are going to go through. It is normal and hopefully these tips and practical have helped you deal with an everyday occurrence nervousness until next time. Mhm Mhm All right, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the Rise up and Shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode and while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Clotting Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com.

Are links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember, ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life. Yeah. Mhm. Yeah.

Ep. 85 Help! I'm Nervous!
Ep. 85 Help! I'm Nervous!
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