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10 Ordinary Things That Make Nervous People More Nervous

10 Ordinary Things That Make Nervous People More Nervous

Having a vivid imagination is both a blessing and a curse. If you are in a creative business, it will work to your advantage and people will think your ability to come up with new, out-of-the-box ideas is pure genius!  But when that same imagination takes hold during everyday life, you may be judged differently. Being a creative person who has had my share of unfounded nerves and the occasional panic attack, I know how bad it feels to have others say things like, “You worry too much!” or “It’s nothing! What’s your problem?”  What’s my problem? My problem is that I see impending doom more vividly than you do friend!

Here are ten ordinary things that make nervous people more nervous – see if you can relate to any! (For the record, they will also make the same nervous people laugh, when their nerves aren’t running the show.)

1. Threat of Snow

Meteorologists must love the control they have over nervous people, knowing that the second they stand in front of that map and say, “We may have snow…” hundreds of people panic and head to the nearest store for milk, toilet paper and comfort food. While they are often wrong, a nervous person knows, “They might be right!”

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2. Traffic Jams

Some people can sit in traffic every day with no problem, they know it’s a fact of life. Traffic jams instantly make me hungry, thirsty, worry that I will be late and need to pee. If I’m in a traffic jam in hot weather, I also worry that my car will overheat and I’ll die of exposure.

3. Public Speaking

While many people get antsy at the thought of speaking to a large group, nervous people can break out into a sweat talking to their book club. Will every intelligent thought escape their brain the second they open their mouth or will what comes out make sense? My palms are sweating just thinking about it.

4. What to Wear to a Party

Parties are supposed to be fun. But the second a nervous person is invited to something she or he hasn’t been to before, the stress begins. “What should I wear? What will others wear? What if I’m too dressed up or too casual? Do I bring a hostess gift? If so, what?” The fear of standing out for doing the wrong thing takes hold like a death grip, often until the event is over.

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5. An Unexplained Rash

Rashes happen. But when a rash appears on a nervous person or their child, their mind jumps to the worst case scenario. They add to the panic but doing research on the internet and proceed to diagnose a rare and often fatal disease. Does some anti-itch cream usually clear it up? Yes. But that doesn’t stop their wild imagination from wreaking havoc before the cream takes effect!

6. Entertaining

Like parties, having people over for dinner is supposed to be fun. But I can tell you from experience there can be a lot of pre-party panic. What should I cook and if I try something new, will it be good? How much food do I need? What kind of drinks? And the most stressful of all, for me at least, is trying to time everything to be done at the same time so everything can be hot and ready together. Let’s just say that Martha Stewart, I am not!

7. Noises on an Airplane

Airplanes are mechanical things. There are flaps, and gears and doors and wheels – things will make noise. But on most flights I take I end up telling someone with white-knuckles that the noises are not the plane about to break apart, it’s just the landing gear door opening and the wheels coming out so we can land safely.

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8. Sirens

When I hear a siren, I get an immediate adrenaline rush and check to make sure I’m not speeding. My gut reaction, and that of many other nervous people, is to think the siren is about THEM. The average person calmly pulls to the side of the road and let’s whatever emergency vehicle is in a hurry pass. No paranoia, adrenaline rush or unfounded guilt – lucky them!

9. A Gas Tank Below Half-Full

I have friends who drive until the gas light comes on and they still don’t worry. They just remark that, “Oh, I need gas soon…”  SOON? You needed it about 100 miles ago! I was brought up to hit the panic button if the gas went below a half a tank. I guess my parents thought we might take a wrong turn and end up in the middle of nowhere without a gas station within 100 miles, so better safe than sorry.

10. Bees

People seem to be deathly afraid of bees or not at all – there is very little in between. Even most intellectually know that a bee will die if they sting you – so they aren’t flying around looking for people to sting – they still run, scream and flail at the sight or sound of a bee. That makes the bee panic and see them as a threat and the thing they dread most happens; they get stung.

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Featured photo credit: Maxwell GS via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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