Q: I have a date in an hour, and my palms are sweating, my heart is pounding, and I feel so much anxiety. It’s always like this for me. I am a nervous wreck. How am I supposed to calm myself down long enough to have a decent conversation and appear somewhat normal?
A: First of all, normal is overrated. Take me for example—I love chocolate tea instead of coffee—that’s not so normal, but it’s me.
Hashem has created each one of us from a unique mold, and as similar as we all are, we are also blessed with different personalities, different genes, different looks and different soul-qualities. Hashem has a perfect partner for you who will appreciate you for who you are—which includes the fact that dating makes you nervous.
Second of all, I’ll share with you a great mind-body technique to help soften your nerves and calm your system down.
We all tend to want to escape our body when we feel the discomfort of nervousness, but the safest and most healing place to be is ‘in your body’. By this, I mean to put your awareness on the physical sensations coming up. Place your hand on your heart and notice the pounding. Take some soft, calming belly breaths as your hand rests on your heart. This little action will have the effect of dialing down your anxiety to a more manageable place.
You can also bring your awareness to the rest of your body. Where does the anxiety sit in your body? Is it jumping around in your chest, in your stomach? Just feel safe in noticing these sensations. This allows for a flow of energy that will calm your system.
Last, but not least, give yourself a big hug for taking the brave journey of dating. It’s an act of courage and Hashem loves you for it. Sending yourself loving messages is an act of compassion. Do that for yourself as you embark on this precious life-journey.