4 Ways to Cope With Nervous Reactions


It’s the day of a big presentation. Your notes are in order. You’ve practiced your presentation. But when you stand before the crowd, your hands start shaking, your voice quivers, and you feel a blush creeping over your face. These are nervous reactions that your body displays naturally.

Here are coping suggestions featured in Reader’s Digest:

1. Shaking voice – This is a fight-or-flight reaction when you feel nervous or unprepared. The vocal cords are controlled by the vagus nerve, which is connected to the brain. Stress or anxiety can stimulate the nerve, causing neck muscles to tense up and create a spasm in the vocal cords. To control the quiver, take a deep breath and tense up your body. Hold your breath for several seconds and release. Repeat several times to release stress and ease vocal spasms.

2. Crying – If tears well up unexpectedly, you may be experiencing stress and feel like things are out of control. Handle crying by pinching the webbed skin between the thumb and pointer finger. This bit of pain creates a mental distraction, giving you time to get your feelings under control. If crying continues without explanation, contact your doctor for assistance.

3. Trembling hands –Stress impacts the part of the brain that regulates anxiety, which affects nerve signals to the hands. Keep shaky hands folded in your lap. If the shaking continues after stress is eliminated, contact your doctor to make sure it’s not a sign of a medical problem.

4. Blushing – The face has loads of tiny blood vessels just under the skin’s surface. When you feel nervous or anxious, the body releases hormones that boost circulation and cause skin to redden. To reduce redness, place a cold compress or bottle of cold water against the face to reduce blood flow and control blushing. Try drinking that cold water, too. Interestingly, one study showed that people judge others who blush as more trustworthy.