Turning Anxiety Into Excitement

Reona Saito

A gentle reminder:

When you’re nervous about stepping outside of your comfort zone, remind yourself: it feels scary because it’s unfamiliar, not because I’m incapable. Did you know that your body reacts the same way to anxiety as it does to excitement?

Yes, excitement has the same physiological effect on our bodies as anxiety does — to include elevated heart rate, and more rapid breathing.

This is why, according to research by a Harvard business school professor named Allison Wood Brooks, we shouldn’t try to “calm down” when we’re anxious, we should try to shift into a state of excitement.

In fact, the only difference between anxiety and excitement is the story that we tell ourselves about what we’re feeling. 

Anxiety involves a story of resistance as to what the future could hold, while excitement happens when we’re willing to welcome the future.

So, during those moments when you’re anxious about that new thing you’re trying for the very first time, the best thing you can do for yourself is to welcome the possibilities.

Think about how much more confident you’ll become as you build familiarity over time.

Think about how proud of yourself you’ll be for doing your best. 

Think about how your willingness to step out on faith will make you into a better person in the long run. 

Remember life begins at the end of your comfort zone.  

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