“5 Tips to Kick Out-of-Control Nerves and Make You Laugh”

A question I often get is how to get rid of nerves.

There are a number of strategies and practices for staying calm and focused. They all have to do with replacing your nervousness with clarity about what you really want and positive, empowering emotions.

One of my favorite strategies is humor. Who doesn’t love to laugh? So the next time you start feeling like anxiety is going to pick you up and carry you away, try one or more of the following ideas. They are designed to be humorous … and … to replace your nerves with positive emotions and focus.

Strategy #1: Belly Breathing

Ever feel like you’re so nervous, you’re going to get sick to your stomach and perhaps lose your lunch? When that awful feeling hits, try these ideas.

First, breathe slowly and deeply all the way down into your stomach. At the same time, place a pretend large warm towel over your tummy to “warm it up.”

Why does this work? The abdomen is the physical center of your emotions. That’s why when you become anxious, your stomach feels like it’s tied in knots. When you breathe into your tummy and relax it, you relax your emotions too because the mind, the body and our emotions are inseparable. The imaginary warmth of the towel adds even more comfort to the area and more ease to your frazzled state of mind and body.

Strategy #2: Sit Down and Shut Up

Does your mind ever just keep yacking and yacking at about 1000 miles an hour? Does it keep going on and on about negative “what ifs” that make you feel like balling up in the fetal position?

Try this … pretend like those thoughts are coming from some weirdo stranger in your head. Mentally grab the creature by the collar, set it down right next to you and tell it to “SHUT UP.” Talk to it! Tell it, “For goodness sakes … ZIP IT!” Giggle and then commence talking to yourself about what you really want to happen. This is an effective and very funny thing to do. The ruder you can be to that stranger … the better!

Strategy #3: Carrot Noses

Have you ever worried about what other people think?

Next time, pretend like they all have big carrot noses. I’m not saying this to be disrespectful to anyone. I’m suggesting this idea to get you laughing and so distract yourself from your Nervous Nellie thoughts so you can get back to focusing on your job.

Another idea is to pretend as if huge mud globs are raining down from sky and falling all around everyone. They are aghast! Again, you are using your imagination to distract yourself from needless worry, with humor.

These two techniques disable your worrisome thoughts about others so you can get back to focusing on your job at hand.

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2 Comments on “5 Tips to Kick Out-of-Control Nerves and Make You Laugh”

  1. Courtney Thelen on Mon, 21st Mar 2016 7:09 pm
  2. Barbara I just love how you put things into perspective. I had the pleasure to meet you about almost 20 years ago at the University of Findlay in Ohio. I was a freshman there and you mainly spoke to the upper classmen. I just wanted to tell you thank you for your teachings ! I know use those techniques with my kids in their gymnastics training! Oh how I wish you could come and make these youngsters mentally tough! My husband Tyler worked for you after we graduated from Findlay and we married a year later. So you may not remember me but I’m sure you remember him. Again I just waneed to say thanks because I use your breathing techniques all the time with life, kids, and horses, lol! Much love, Courtney Thelen

  3. Barbra Schulte on Mon, 21st Mar 2016 10:21 pm
  4. Courtney, great to hear from you! Thank you for the note. Keep up the good work! Barb

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