Have you ever worried about anything?! We all know what it’s like to feel nervous, right? Whether it’s nerves before a presentation? nerves before a wedding? a job interview? a social occasion? meeting someone important? going on a first date? before you step on the scales before you get weighted? … there are so many reasons why people could feel nervous. How would you rather feel instead? – Calm is often a feeling that many say they would like, or perhaps confidence, excitement or anticipation are feelings that you’d rather feel and would help you to be more effective?
What happens to us when we are nervous?
Whilst our fight or flight response kicks in and our adrenaline rises, we experience all sorts of things – from a feeling of stress to anxiety, the feeling of butterflies in our tummies. We might start to ‘read into’ situations and create ‘stories’ in our heads – perhaps overanalysing/over-preparing or feel like our head is a bit hazy and we can’t think straight. Some people experience physical reactions from sweaty palms, to shaking hands, headaches, even possibly feeling light headed. Some famous people have spoken about being sick before a stage performance, or having to run the toilet a lot! There is no doubt therefore that when our nerves get the better of us, it’s really not helpful. This reminds me of the Mind/Body connection – a concept made famous by Deepak Chopra – in essence we’re saying that the mind has a direct link the the body, and over time we want that to be a positive impact (so that we are not harming our bodies).
Nervousness to Calmness: 3 NLP tips to calm the nerves
I want to help by keeping this really simple. Here are 3 tips that you can use right now with no NLP …
Tip 1: Breathing
Take a deep breath in through your nose – fill your lungs – and slowly breath out through your month (your aim should be that the out breath should be 3 or 4 times longer than the in breath, and it should feel as if you are doing “Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa” – you don’t have to say that out loud, but if you’d like to you can). As you breath notice how your muscles will start to relax and your mind starts to empty. This breathing technique comes from the ancient Hawaiian people and Huna (click here to read more). They refer to it as the ‘Earth Breath’ or ‘Ha Breath’. You can do this breath several times over in order to get the desired effect – I normally do it 3 or 4 times.
Tip 2: How would you rather feel instead?
When you know how you’d rather feel instead (e.g. calm, confident, motivated – or whatever that more resourceful state is for you) let’s recall a time you did that resourceful state really well. Can you remember a time, a specific time when you were feeling really ‘x’? – good …. let’s do a quick exercise (read the following instructions and then close your eyes and do it yourself – or have someone read it to you) …. ‘go back to that time now, float down inside your body … see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel those feelings of being totally [e.g. confident] … really feel those feelings and allow them to build (until they peak) ……… then, when you’re ready open your eyes – isn’t it fantastic how quickly the shoulders drop, or we notice other physiological changes or feel ‘lighter’ etc. On our NLP Practitioner course we teach people how to anchor multiple states so you don’t need to go though this process each time – you can feel however you’d rather feel instead by simply touching a knuckle where we’ve anchored the resourceful states/feelings that you’ve previously experienced.
Tip 3: Look up & Smile!
Ok, this one is a bit different – it would have been easy for me to pick a multitude of things we could use as tip number 3 (NLP Practitioners may choose to use a swish patterns, use the ‘As if’ linguistic frame, or one of the other great tools they have in their toolkit). However I waned to keep this post simple and give you 3 tips that you could put into practice without any prior NLP experience.
Your unconscious mind can’t tell the difference between when you’re faking it, or really doing it – so I’m going to get you smiling so that your ‘happy hormones’ are released into your blood stream to help you …. So; if you can go outside and look up at the sky then that’s perfect, if you can’t get outside ,simply look up directly above your head to the ceiling. Smile as you’re looking up and stay in that position for 60 seconds (or longer if you wish). You will notice after a while how your feelings change.
I hope this helps you with a short term fix that you can use right now. Of course if you’d like to find out more about how changing your thinking can help you change your results, and you’re curious about how NLP can help you do this really easily, checkout our website or drop us a line with any questions of comments you have via email. You can also call us on 02920 023311.