Whenever I have to speak in front of people I don’t know very well, I get really nervous. Even if I feel well-prepared, I still get those infamous butterflies in my stomach and my heart starts to beat really fast. So fast I feel as if it’s going to jump out of my throat and into the center of the room (no, I looked it up, that’s not actually possible).
Nervousness is an emotional reaction that developed way, way, back when as a mechanism to help humans survive in stressful situations. (Think: Fight or flight.)
While this response is helpful when we need to, say, run away from a pack of wolves, it can get in the way in other situations that may be stressful but are not life-threatening in the least (i.e., public speaking, an interview, a first date).
So, how do we minimize feelings of anxiousness when we need to focus and adequately perform the task at hand? Watch this AsapSCIENCE video to learn some tricks professional athletes use. If they can do it, so can you.
Abby works in health education and prevention at a university in Washington, DC. When she’s not trying to make the world a healthier place, you can find her taking selfies with her cat (Mildred Meow Meow), hunting down the city's best grilled cheese, or zipping through the city on her bike, named Libby. Say hi on Twitter.More from this Author