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Here's what happens in the body when we get really nervous!

I was offered a job opportunity the other day that made me really nervous. I'm usually very confident in work settings but this was an opportunity out of my comfort zone and something I haven't really done before. However the task is very much aligned with the direction I intend to steer my career towards. Something in me knew that this is exactly what I need to do to evolve and expand. So I said, I'm in! Later on.., it got me thinking about nervousness and what happens in the body when we are faced with situations that makes us really nervous.

When we experience nervousness, our body undergoes a series of physiological changes as part of the fight-or-flight response, which is the body's way of preparing us to deal with perceived threats or challenges. Here's what happens in the body when we get really nervous:

  1. Activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System: The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for activating the fight-or-flight response. When we feel nervous, this system is triggered, leading to the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.

  2. Increased Heart Rate: The heart rate increases to pump more blood to the muscles and vital organs, preparing the body for action. This helps improve circulation and oxygen delivery throughout the body.

  3. Dilation of Pupils: The pupils dilate to allow more light to enter the eyes, enhancing visual perception and awareness of the surroundings.

  4. Shunting of Blood: Blood is redirected away from non-essential organs like the digestive system and towards the muscles, heart, and brain, where it's needed most during times of stress.

  5. Muscle Tension: Muscles tense up in preparation for physical exertion or action. This helps increase strength and speed, enabling the body to respond quickly to perceived threats.

  6. Heightened Awareness: The senses become more acute, and attention becomes focused on the source of stress or danger. This heightened awareness helps individuals assess and respond to potential threats more effectively.

  7. Increased Respiration: Breathing becomes faster and more shallow to supply the body with oxygen needed for energy production and heightened physical activity.

While nervousness might feel uncomfortable, it's the body's way of preparing us to face challenges and perform at our best. In moderation, the physiological changes associated with nervousness can enhance focus, motivation, and performance by mobilizing the body's resources for action.

However be aware that, excessive or chronic nervousness can have negative effects on physical and mental health, leading to symptoms like insomnia, digestive problems, anxiety disorders, and burnout. Learning to manage nervousness through techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness, positive self-talk, and stress management can help individuals harness its energy more effectively and perform optimally in challenging situations.



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