17 November 2020
It’s really not that crazy to hear that excitement and anxiety come from the same chemical process in the brain. They both give you that rush. It’s just that one is something we consider as good and the other is something we think of as bad. That association, good or bad, is actually what determines how this chemical reaction will become excitement or anxiety for any given scenario.
Take public speaking, for instance. Your palms are sweaty, your heart is beating fast, your mouth is dry, your mind is racing. If you’re afraid to get up there and speak, chances are your thoughts are negative. Now you’ve learned that when you feel that rush when you’re getting ready to speak in front of an audience, you should be afraid.
The key is that while all of these responses from your body are occurring, you tell yourself something positive. Rather than: “these people are going to think I sound so stupid,” you tell yourself, “I have something to share and I’m excited to hear how people respond.” You may not believe yourself at first, but these small changes in how you allow yourself to associate events with feelings will slowly begin to see a shift from anxiety to excitement.
Please know, this is not for those of us who suffer from anxiety disorders, or are experiencing anxiety for necessary reasons, such as getting yourself out of harm's way.
But next time you’re feeling anxious over something that won’t kill you, give it a try.