What happens when the ‘butterflies in your stomach’ are ruling your thoughts? You know, that feeling physically and mentally swirling about often called a bad case of jitters, butterflies or nerves.
When that happens, the trick is to get your butterflies flying in formation! But how? Try one or all of these 5 techniques to counteract those jitters and bring you back to the moment to transform your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors so that you once again choose the way you want to be seen – the confident, composed leader that you are.
You’ll be amazed at how they work! Just doing one of these will pop you right back into the present moment (conscious) driver’s seat to get those darn butterflies flying in formation.
Present Moment Power Move #1: The Wet-Dog Shake, just like a golden retriever after a great splash, have a good shake! From top to bottom, shake your whole body, shake out your arms, your hands, your legs, and feet. This is my favorite for a quick recovery back into the moment, although you have to be careful with the ‘Wet-Dog’ in public. If the great shake is too much or would be too apparent for the situation, bounce a few times on the balls of your feet.
You can add a backward shoulder roll for extra zip. A backward shoulder roll is when you lift your shoulders towards your ears, press the shoulders back, and then drop them quickly to create a rolling movement. The shake, the bouncing feet, and the backward shoulder roll work well to reset your awareness.
Present Moment Power Move #2: The Cold Water Splash – cold water splashed on your face, swished around your mouth and/or an ice-cold water bottle pressed against the inside of your wrists will also bring you back to the present moment.
It’s not always easy to splash cold water on your face; swishing cold water around your mouth works well and is semi-socially acceptable and easy to do. And in a pinch, just pressing something ice-cold to the inside of your wrists will bring you back quickly too.
Present Moment Power Move #3: Take Up Space. Spread out. Take up more space. Research shows the way you show confidence, leadership, and dominance is to take up a lot of space — it also takes a conscious effort to make yourself “bigger.”. They are called “power poses” in body language. A power pose is any pose or movement that expands your presence.
An expansive pose elevates testosterone (what they call the dominance hormone) and decreases cortisol (one of your stress hormones), leading to increased feelings of confidence, control, and power. It can take as little as one-to-two minutes to effect these hormonal changes. A quick turn-around for sure…
Present Moment Power Move #4: Laugh It Off. Laughter really is the best medicine. “Giggle,” yes, giggle, even a forced giggle will bring you back to the present moment. If you can manage a real good laugh at what just happened, you will find a side benefit of a vigorous workout to your chest, back and abs and strengthen your heart. It’s also theorized that regular laughing boosts your immune system too.
Giggling or laughing will also reset your breathing pattern, relax your face and chest muscles, and give you an overall feeling of happiness even a joyful “buzz” to bring you right back to the moment.
Present Moment Power Move #5: Breathe. Yes, just breathe in through the nose and blow (exhale) out through the mouth. Inhale through your nose, slowly, filling your lungs completely, and exhale with an extended exhale through your mouth. The exhale is when the body relaxes. When you relax, interestingly those nearby relax as well.
The most useful nonverbal I’ve learned is controlled breathing. Reminding myself to breathe naturally and comfortably, no matter the situation delivers a nonverbal message of confidence and poise. Breathing is the most often overlooked and underestimated nonverbal.
Breathing is more than supplying oxygen to your lungs. It profoundly influences your mood, how your brain functions, how sensitive your nerves are, and how tired or alert you feel even your “fight or flight” response. How you are breathing is contagious too. It directly influences those around you.
Given the unknowns and sometimes craziness that happens all around us, the key to staying present at all times is to breathe, yes breathe through each moment. Complete, deep, 360-degree breathing, where you feel your ribs, and even your back expand. This kind of breathing keeps you present through an experience. When we experience a surprise, a shock, or an unknown, all too often, we find we are holding our breath and activating our fight-or-flight response! Not a good thing for our butterflies….
Don’t believe me…Try this quick experiment.
Quickly sniff (short rapid inhales through the nose) 10 times. What are you feeling right now? Most people feel a twinge of anxiety. That is the beginning of the fight-or-flight response.
And, always remember to monitor your breathing from time to time to make sure your breathing is sending a message of confidence and comfort.
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