How to Manage Your Anxiety with This Exciting Approach

Sometimes I chuckle to myself when I think about a moment that happened years ago when my young cousin was feeling nervous. I had been encouraging her to try a breathing technique to calm down. After a few tries, she said, “I don’t want to breathe. I’m too wound up!”. Though she could have given the breathwork more of a chance, she had a point. Coming down from a heightened emotional state can be a real challenge.  

Here’s how to manage your anxiety by turning it into excited energy!  

What is anxiety vs. excitement?

Anxiety and excitement are more similar than you’d think. Physiologically, they are essentially the same. However, the key difference is that anxiety is interpreted as a negative experience, and excitement is interpreted as a positive experience.   

Harvard completed a study that tasked various individuals with giving speeches, singing karaoke, and taking math tests. All participants were told they would be evaluated on their performances to maximize anxiety levels. A group of these participants were randomly assigned to say “I am excited” prior to their performances. It was found that these participants generally received higher ratings than the participants who did not use this technique. By changing their interpretation of their anxiety, even if it was only out loud, they allowed themselves to enhance their performances by shifting out of a threat mindset and into an opportunity mindset.  

Manage your anxiety by turning it into excitement

Next time you feel nervous, instead of saying that you’re nervous, try saying, “I’m excited!” or “This is exciting!” Repeating this over and over to yourself can help you use that high level of energy in a way that’s a bit more functional, potentially allowing you to come across as more persuasive, competent, and confident to others.  

This technique is great for situations involving social and performance anxiety, though it can be used for a wide range of anxious moments. Choosing to tune into the benefits of a situation, even if the only benefits are experiencing something new or facing a fear, can allow you to visualize more positive outcomes. 

Give it a try – it can only help!  Here is another article to help you manage your anxiety.

If your anxiety persists even after trying these tips, you might want to consider talking through your experience with a professional counselor. Reach out to us at Mindfully – you can find a therapist to match your needs by clicking here.

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