5 Mental Tricks For Relaxing Before A First Date

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Although no one can predict how many first dates you'll have in your life before finding someone you want to be in a relationship with, it's safe to assume you're likely to have more first dates than second dates. Which means you're also likely to go through the stress, anxiety, and nervousness that sometimes comes with going a first date. It's totally normal to be anxious about the unexpected, and a first date can definitely be riddled with lots of the unexpected.

First dates are the beginning of something, and like with first impressions, these first dates are the door that opens your relationship with this person,” New York–based relationship and etiquette expert of Relationship Advice Forum, April Masini, tells Bustle.

But before you can get to the relationship part of the equation or even out the door to the first date part, you're going to need to relax first. Not just so you can go into the date with the right frame of mind, but so the date can be as worthwhile an experience as a first date can be. In order to do that, here are six mental tricks to help you ease your nerves before a first date.

1Take A Nap

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One way to refresh your mind? Take a nap. "By taking a nap, you’re handing over your body to your brain to rejuvenate and relax it," Masini says. "[I]f you can nap before a date, you’re going to be a lot more relaxed and on your game than if you’re fatigued and stressed from being tired."

2Give Yourself Some Perspective

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"Remind yourself in a way that works for you, that this is one date," says Masini. "It is not a marriage. It is not the only person you will ever date. It may or may not work out."

It's when we put too much stock in something, thinking it's a bigger deal than it is, that things can get carried away. Don't let that happen; pull yourself back in and give yourself some perspective.

"Give yourself a way to relieve pressure that many people feel on first dates," says Masini. "They build them up to be 'it' — and when it’s not, they’re [upset]."

3Take A Bath

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"Use candles, music, your favorite bubbles or oils and really relax," says Masini. "Warm water is a wonderful tool to help you reduce stress, and it is a nice ritual to use before first dates."

While Masini concedes that warm showers are great too, in a bathtub you get to drift away to someplace else for the moment.

"Closing your eyes, and enjoying the therapeutic power of a restful bath before a first date is more likely to lead to a relaxing and successful time out on the town, than if you’re stressed and anxious not having had one," says Masini.

4Distract Yourself

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"If you’re stressed or nervous or anxious about a first date, do something that takes you out of your head," says Masini.

If you can find a way to shift your focus and take your brain off the date, you'll find that you'll be able to relax a bit.

"This may be yoga, or a jigsaw puzzle, sudoko or a crossword puzzle," says Masini. "These activities smooth over the rough edges of your anxiety and give you something to do while you’re waiting for your date."

5Cuddle Up With A Pet

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"Animals have a way of reducing your stress, while broadening your perspective and making you feel at ease and calm — even when you’re anxious about a first date," says Masini. "If you have a pet, give him or her some play time, a walk, or some grooming attention. It’s a way to distract yourself and to give a little love to your furry friends."

According to research, even 12 minutes with a dog can lower your blood pressure. Not to mention, one look into your pet's eyes will make you realize that first dates and the stress that's intertwined with them isn't that big of a deal. Pets, in general, make everything 100 percent better.

If you want to make the most of a first date, then it's important to go into it with your brain free of clutter — and nothing clutters quite like stress and anxiety. Instead of letting those feelings overwhelm you, take time before your date to get your head on straight. A first date is going to be far more enjoyable if you've left your stress at home.