Back to the NaBloPoMo prompts:
What do you do to cope when you're nervous?
I have a whole mess of diagnoses, including post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder, so I feel jumpy and nervous fairly often. I'm on medication that helps, and I have Ativan that I can take if I must for panic attacks. But I try really hard to use the Ativan, because 1) it can be addictive; and 2) it makes me sleepy. It makes far more sense to take advantage of the biofeedback techniques I learned years ago to try to get my heart rate and breathing under control. Cognitive behavioral therapy has also given me some valuable ways to examine the thought patterns that lead to panic attacks, so that I can try to short-circuit them before I get too wound up.
For less critical nerves, I find it important to keep my hands busy. I usuallly take a small stitching project with me wherever I go. Having my hands busy and keeping my mind partially occupied takes up enough of my energy to keep me from getting too wound up in nerves, most of the time. My stitching is the equivalent of other peoples' doodling or fidget toys.