Sometimes, when I am in front of a group of people, my face starts to twitch. For example, today I did a presentation in front of my class and my face began to twitch. When I pursed my lips, it stopped.

I’m not sure if other people can see, though — no one looked at me strangely or anything when my face twitched. I think this may be due to a subconscious anxiety or something, because I don’t actually feel afraid. So, my question is, how do I get rid of this?

Should I try some relaxation or breathing exercises before presentations? Any suggestions are appreciated.

A: Facial twitching can be influenced by many factors including stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, caffeine, and other serious medical conditions.  Even though you weren’t afraid, your body may be simply responding to the stress of presenting in front of a group. Before your next presentation make sure you’re well prepared, have enough sleep, avoid caffeine and try deep breathing exercises. Meditation or yoga may also be beneficial. If the twitching continues, consult with your physician to rule out other medical conditions.

Take good care of yourself.

Julie Hanks, LCSW