Just how do you get rid of nervousness before a big event? Even the most prolific public speakers in the world get nervous before stepping into the stage. It doesn’t matter whether they have 10 years of experience or if they own the place, one way or another they get nervous. And it’s normal. As time passes by, they learn how to overcome this. That’s what we’re going to talk about here.
Short answer is: chew a gum before the big event.
It doesn’t seem much, but believe me when I say that there is more to that. And this actually works wonders.
How Does Chewing Gum Reduce/Remove Nervousness?
Photo by VeRoNiK@ GR
When danger presents itself, our mind calculates whether we should fight or run away. Are there predators nearby? Can we fight them off? If not, will fleeing give us a higher chance of survival?
It is fear that enables our fight-or-flight instinct. Smart brains, right? Ironically enough, it’s stupid too. Primarily, the fight-or-flight instinct is there to help us survive, but when it comes to public speaking (or a competition) the brain thinks “holy molly we are going to die!!!” and kicks off the fight-or-flight mechanics. This is why we become nervous and would do anything to just slink away from the stage.
Now, how do you exactly overcome nervousness by chewing gum, you ask?
It’s the feed or breed instinct.
When we eat, we know that we’re in a safe place. That nothing could harm us. I guess no one eats a sandwich while being chased by a pack of wolves, right? The same thing applies to animals. They only eat when they know it’s safe to. Same goes for breeding. No one in their right minds will perform the nasty in a war zone. But what is chewing gum’s role on this?
Chewing gum fools our brains into thinking, “hey, we are eating! That means everything is fine, right? Right!” And then our nerves are becalmed. I know, I know, it’s foolishly stupid, but it works big time.
So, there you go. Fool your brain by thinking it’s feeding time and you won’t shit your pants on the stage.
Another bit of nasty trivia about shitting one’s pants when nervous: people shit their pants when they are nervous because it is basically under the fight-or-flight response. You can’t fight properly or run away fast enough when you are too heavy. You need to lose some weight for good mobility, hence the shitting part.
The more you know…
Featured image by Michael Ransburg.