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Good Question: Why Do We Get Nervous?

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(credit: CBS) Heather Brown
Heather Brown loves to put her innate curiosity to work to answer yo...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – So many times, the Good Question team gets turned down for interviews. Often, people say it’s because of nerves.

And nerves can get the best of news people, too. Remember a few weeks back when a BCC interviewer fumbled through an interview with actress Mila Kunis? He told her, “Seriously, I’m petrified,” before launching into compliments about her beauty.

Nervousness manifests itself in so many different ways, and it had WCCO viewer Beth Neil wondering: Why do we get nervous?

James Stolz, a licensed social worker who specializes in anxiety, said it’s actually good to have some level of nervousness.

“Nervousness…is what keeps us from walking into the street with our eyes closed,” he said.

The feeling begins with your hypothalamus, and your adrenal and pituitary glands.

“When we get nervous, when we perceive a threat, that system goes into action, and it causes hormones and chemicals to be produced; and that causes us to feel a sense of anxiety where our breaths become shorter or our chest tightens,” he said.

People are born with different kinds of fears, like public speaking.

“Often times, they’re perceiving themselves as not as good at it,” Stolz said.

However, people can conquer some of their nerves by confronting their fears. Stolz recommends physical activity, deep breaths, visualizing success and counting down from 10.

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