Techniques to use if you get nervous on a mystery shopping job

Although mystery shopping should be a fun and easy way to make money, some people find that keeping their cover can make them nervous.

Although mystery shopping should be a fun and easy way to make money, some people find that keeping their cover makes them nervous. Mystery shopping might not be the best job for people who suffer from anxiety, but that doesn't mean it's impossible for people who get nervous easily. There are some mystery shoppers who get the feeling of butterflies before and during a job. Nervousness or anxiety can blow your cover on a mystery shopping job, or at least draw attention to you. When people get nervous their heart rate goes up and this can lead to heavy breathing, sweating and other noticeable effects. To ensure that you're nervousness won't expose you and that you can complete the job, and hopefully enjoy the job, have a few techniques to calm yourself down.  

Calming breathing techniques
According to Time magazine, breathing techniques can lower blood pressure, help you to de-stress and relax you quickly. There are a large number of breathing techniques out there that meditation and stress experts swear by, but the main thing you need to remember is to get enough oxygen in your system. This usually means taking long deep breaths using your abdominal muscles. If you know that you're going to get nervous ahead of time you can practice breathing techniques at home before you go out. 

Calming mental techniques
Another way to calm yourself down is through mental techniques. This could be a counting exercise where you count seconds or steps, or it could be focusing all your attention to one thing, such as the music playing in the store. Some people are able to calm themselves when they can eliminate the chaos going on around them. Focusing on one thing allows them to forget everything else, which in turn calms them down. 

Talking with people
Some people find that conversing with others is a great way to reduce their stress. Talking with other people brings you out of your own head and allows you to focus on something that is happening at that moment. If talking to strangers doesn't interest you, try talking to employees. They are getting paid to help you and many will be happy to strike up a conversation. Most mystery shopping jobs require you to talk to employees anyway, so if talking to others calms you, you might be able to kill two birds with one stone. 

What if calming techniques don't work?
If you feel like mystery shopping just makes you too nervous, maybe you should look for another job. Mystery shopping isn't for everyone. Remember that it's just a mystery shop and if the job goes bad and you blow your cover nothing will actually happen. You're not out much of anything. Mystery shopping is supposed to be a fun, low-stress way of making some extra cash. If you don't enjoy it then there is no harm in not continuing.