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Turn Anxiety into Excitement

 When you feel excited, your heart rate spikes, your mind races, your palms sweat and you may start speaking faster, or maybe you tremble just a bit. These exact same symptoms occur when you are feeling anxious. From a physiological standpoint, these two emotions appear identical, except for the fact that one feels great and the other does not.
According to a recent study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers found the difference between excitement and anxiety can be boiled down to - and even entirely overcome by mindset. Mind over matter does matter, so put your mind to it. If you focus and deploy tried-and-tried mental tactics, you'll find your incessant feelings of anxiety turned into waves of excitement: 
anxiety to excitement

1. Sing “Don’t Stop Believin'” like you mean it

In the aforementioned study, lead researchers asked participants to sing 'Don't Stop Believin,' the 1981 smash hit by rock band Journey. It was found that participants who went all in not only were more likely to sing in key but reported higher levels of excitement. Meanwhile, tepid singers reported high levels of anxiety. 

2. Try “anxiety reappraisal.”

This technique is deceptively easy, but it works. When you're feeling anxious, tell yourself that you are feeling excited. It's as easy as that, primarily because both anxiety and excitement depict an arousal state of mind. Your body is already there. 

3. Think about the potential positives

A guaranteed way to ensure that anxiety reappraisal succeeds is to focus on the outcome. Think about it. If you are feeling anxious, you are likely thinking something along the lines of, what's going to happen if this doesn't work out. Rather, think along the lines of what will happen if everything will work out. Any thoughts and feelings will get in line behind this positive-minded thinking. 

4. Eat yogurt

If the 'mind over matter' approach isn't working out, notice what you are eating. A study conducted at the University of Missouri, the probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum - commonly found in yogurt - can alter the gene expression associated with stress and anxiety-related pathways.

anxiety to excitement

5. Say these three words

'I am excited'. A recent study published in the Journal of Marketing Research showed that participants were required to write a to-do list of major task. Upon doing so, they were also asked to utter the sentence 'I am excited' three times. It was found that upon doing so they reported significantly lower stress levels than the control group who did nothing more than say their own names aloud, three times. 


6. Master “good” anxiety

There are situations where not all anxiety is bad. If you are in a potentially dangerous situation, such as crossing a busy street, and a car is approaching and not slowing down, the anxious arousal state that arises will keep your safe. This is a 'good' anxiety and can help you identify the 'bad' anxiety which does nothing but make you more anxious. 

7. Don’t “Keep Calm and Carry On”

You have likely seen this phrase which has circulated social media. It won't do a thing toward keeping your anxiety in check, or better yet, turn it into excitement. Calming down moves your body and mind further away from an arousal state and you won't feel any excitement. Once you decompress, your body is not in a state to be excited. 

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