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.
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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.
Tips and warnings
- Visit a doctor to rule out other medical conditions. The doctor may also recommend an appropriate course of treatment.
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- FamilyDoctor: Anxiety and Panic - Gaining Control Over How You're Feeling
- National Institute of Mental Health: Anxiety Disorders
- May Clinic; Coping With Anxiety - Can Diet Make a Difference?; 2011
- Mayo Clinic; Anxiety - Treatments and Drugs; 2010
- American Psychological Association: Understanding Anxiety Disorders and Effective Treatment
- U.S. National Library of Medicine; Journal of Obesity Research; Brain Serotonin, Carbohydrate-Craving, Obesity and Depression; RJ Wurtman et al.; 1995