Nervous Energy

Last week we talked about imposter syndrome. I wanted to share more, specifically about how we can deal with nervous energy.

How often do you feel nervous, worried, or anxious? I feel this a lot, however, it is FAR less debilitating now than it was for most of my life. 

Let’s be honest, nervousness is a healthy part of being human. I know what you’re thinking…nervousness is healthy? I say it is, because I link nervousness to humility, which is one of the principles of compassion. 

However, nervousness is not so healthy when it limits you. When you decline offers, when it leads to rumination, and when you talk down to yourself.  

We want to be humble enough to experience nervousness (more on this next week), but have the tools to build resilience around our nerves so that we can still live our dreams and put ourselves out there. When we do, we can teach these simple techniques to our kids and they feel limitless!  

This week, let’s practice building resilience around nervousness. 

This week’s practice:

1. Notice when you feel nervous. 

2. Determine if it is based on something true, or a fear of something (judgment, failure, loss, public speaking, a job interview, etc.). 

3. Use slow deep breathing to calm your nerves, inhale for a count of 3 and exhale for a count of 5 or more. Do this until your body feels less jittery. 

Note: Kind Mind Breath Cards help to physiologically calm the nervous system, helping prime the brain for whatever comes next. Breathing can help build more resilience around nervousness because it takes you out of fight/flight/freeze. 

Need more? Use your affirmations; 

  • “I am confident.”
  • “I can do this.”
  • “I am brave.” – kids love this one!
  • “I am going to be okay.”

In the classroom: 

  • Notice if a student is nervous about something, maybe giving a presentation or raising their hand.
  • Remind the student that nervousness is healthy, but only when they practice pushing through the nerves. That helps build inner strength and resilience!
  • Use the Kind Mind Breath Guide Cards, or the simple 3 counts inhale, 5 counts exhale, every day to help restore balance to the nervous system. 

At home: 

  • If your child is nervous about something, remind them of another time they were nervous, but they still tried (use an example of when they ended up having a lot of fun). Ask them to remember how it turned out. 
  • Remind them that feeling nervous is healthy and normal, that we all feel nervous sometimes. 
  • Use Kind Mind Breath Guide Cards (or simple slow deep breaths) to calm the nervous system.  

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