Right before I do any kind of public speaking my hands start shaking uncontrollably and i feel like my heart is exploding.
How do I STOP this?
Adrenaline is one of the most famous hormones in the animal kingdom and it’s our response to a “stressor.”
Stressors can be anything; a sudden scare, playing sports, skydiving, or even performing in a play, or talking to a crush.
After it’s secreted by the adrenal glands, adrenaline kicks your body into high gear, increasing blood circulation, breathing and metabolism rates; and gets the muscles ready for action.
All this activity can have some strange side-effects on your body, especially if you don’t end up running for your life or fighting a rival for your next meal.
Adrenaline is why your hands shake when you’re nervous (your muscles are all aquiver with excess energy), and the blood pumping in your ears?
That’s adrenaline’s fault too.
Adrenaline is also called epinephrine and it can make us do some amazing things.
For example, when epinephrine dumps into the body, it causes us to turn carbs into glucose, the body’s fuel source, and our skeletal muscles actually get stronger.
It’s almost like we’re naturally overclocking our muscles; letting them run hotter with this boost of energy for a short time.
They think this is how hysterical strength works — that’s when people lift cars to save their kids and stuff.
It’s not recognized by science, but we can see the level of potential strength in our muscles when we’re hit by a massive electric shock.
Because it’s not the shock that throws us across the room, but our own muscle contractions.
We can throw ourselves across a room in an instant, we’re that strong, and adrenaline can hack into that power.
Epinephrine is synthesized and released under orders of the hypothalamus.
The hypothalamus is a control region of the brain responsible for homeostasis — or the general equilibrium of our body.
It regulates circadian rhythms, body temperature, hunger and thirst as well as the balance between stress and relaxation, among other things.
When humans feel stressors and thus are flooded with epinephrine, we have an instinct to run, cry or yell, and all are valid.
Tears contain stress hormones and crying releases them from the body.
Yelling fills the lungs and activates the amygdala, the part of our brain that manages fear responses, and ultimately releases feel-good brain chemicals, and rigorous activity works the adrenaline out of our system.
But there is another way!
New York City police are trained to combat the effects of adrenaline on the job, as are members of the military, and other high-risk professionals; they all use a fairly simple body hack — breathing.
Most of the time breathing is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, the same system that controls the fight-or-flight response, heartbeat, digestion and so on…
It’s automatic, and not consciously controlled.
Breathing, however, can be consciously controlled, as you are probably doing right now because you’re thinking about it.
This a bridge between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
Think of your body as an engine, the sympathetic system is the gas.
GO GO GO FIGHT FLIGHT.
The PARAsympathetic system is the brake.
During times of high-stress (and high adrenaline) the body shuts down digestion, and muscle shaking can affect fine muscle movements, or mess up your big speech or monologue during the school play.
So when this happens, you can forcibly engage the calming parasympathetic systeWhy Your Hands Shake When Nervous (And How To Stop It)m by forcing yourself to breathe.
Tactical or “combat” breathing (according to the military) involves breathing in for a four count, holding for four, breathing out for four.
If you do that a few times, the Vagus nerve, the 10th cranial nerve that connects your brain to your torso, will activate, slowing your heartbeat, stimulating digestion, and throttling down blood pressure and so on.
With training, professionals can use this to force their bodies to stay calm and only feel the effects of adrenaline when needed, rather than becoming a victim of those effects.