Excitement the key to conquer anxiety

Making yourself excited when you’re anxious could help overcome your nerves, according to a new research paper.

Alison Brooks, a professor at Harvard Business School, found that people who uttered statements such as “I’m excited” before traditionally nerve-racking situations performed better than those who tried to calm themselves down or did nothing at all.

Ms Brooks said: “I’s much easier to flip from anxiety to excitement since they’re both about the body being in a state of high arousal.”

The participants were split into two groups; those who said “I am excited” and those who uttered “I am calm” before each task. The participants were then put through three stress-inducing challenges; a public speaking event, karaoke and solving maths problems.

In the public speaking event, a panel of judges awarded the excited group an average of 4.07 for persuasiveness on a scale of one to seven, while the calm group were awarded 3.45. In terms of how confident the speakers appeared to be, the excited participants were deemed better again with an average score of 4.5 to 3.9.

The excited group also fared better in the karaoke competition, beating the calm group.

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