Being nervous is one thing, sweating your guts out at the same time only compounds the stress you’re feeling at that moment. Many situations can trigger your nerves and sweat glands. You can identify such situations easily, just think about what makes you sweat more–-scary movies? Parties? Meetings? Public Speaking? Antique shopping? Dates? Whatever it is that gets your glands going, that’s what you’re going to be focusing on here.
To beat nervous sweat, you need to understand it. Nervous sweat is the result of your body fooling itself into thinking it’s in danger. In many instances (holding hands with opposite sex, job interviews, etc…) it’s quite the opposite. Managing those sweat-inducing stressors is key to conquering your nervous sweat.
To manage your specific stressors, you’re going to trick your body into thinking they’re no big deal. It’s not difficult, the body’s easy to trick. You’ll actually be de-tricking it out of panic mode. To accomplish this de-trickery, follow these four steps when you find yourself under pressure:
When you know ahead of time that you’re going to be in a stressful situation (i.e. going on a date, attending a party, delivering a presentation), you have the advantage. Study your thoughts regarding the situation–ask yourself what you have to be nervous about. Don’t answer “the meeting” or “failure”, be specific. Become aware of what it is you’re truly worried about, then write it down. You will find that establishing the source of your stress and putting it in words will provide the clarity you need to manage the situation instead of fretting over it. Once you’ve established the source of your stress, practice the meditation techniques described above to prepare your mind for the situation.
Tell yourself to breathe. Your body usually takes care of this one automatically, but in the midst of an adrenaline rush you may find yourself breathing harder and faster. Taking a slow, deep breath tells your body that it’s not in any sort of danger, that you are calm and relaxed. To get the most out of this exercise, inhale deeply and slowly through your nose, hold the breath for three seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this ten times.
3. FOCUS ON THE MOMENT
Don’t get caught up in all the worst-case scenarios and “what if…” moments that stress puts you through. If you do, you’ll end up sweating over those instead of the situation itself. Keep your focus where it belongs, on the task at hand. Chances are, the task itself isn’t nearly as stressful without all those hypothetical disasters that come to mind while you do it.
4. DON’T SWEAT… THE SWEAT
If you start to sweat, don’t worry about it. You don’t need to add another layer of worry to the worry-cake which induced the sweating in the first place. Push the sweat from your mind for the time being–not doing so is likely to result in more sweat so do your best to focus on anything else (bonus points for focusing on your breathing!) while you calm down.