How to stop nervous shaking

Updated April 17, 2017

Severe and persistent nervous shaking can be a sign of anxiety. Besides shaking, anxiety suffers experience other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, irritability and difficulty concentrating. Treatment to stop nervous shaking is in the form of relaxation techniques, changes in diet, regular exercise and staying well hydrated.

Practice daily relaxation techniques to reduce nervous shaking. These include muscle relaxation, meditation, yoga or deep breathing.

Develop a regular exercise routine, since movement causes a surge in feel-good brain chemicals known as endorphins, reducing nerve and muscle tensions. Effective routines last 30 minutes a day, three to five days a week.

Eat three balanced meals evenly spaced throughout the day with two to three snacks in between. Avoid eating empty carbohydrate foods, such as sweets and pastries, and replace them with complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains. Complex carbohydrates slowly release glucose throughout the body, avoiding spikes and dips in blood sugar levels, which cause feelings of nervousness and shakiness.

Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid drinking caffeinated hot and soft drinks, which overstimulate the nervous system.

Discuss cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) treatments with a psychotherapist. CBT teaches individuals how to stop fearful thoughts and nervous shaking by implanting positive thought patterns into the mind. Medications, such as antidepressants, are usually prescribed in conjunction with CBT.


Visit a doctor to rule out other medical conditions. The doctor may also recommend an appropriate course of treatment.

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About the Author

Based in London, Lisa Green has been writing entertainment and women’s lifestyle articles since 2004. She has contributed to the MyVillage and Glam networks and is the former editor of Entertainmentwise. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from De Montfort University and a City & Guilds journalism certificate from the City of Bristol College.