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How to change anxiety into excitement

Starting at a new school, performing in a recital, riding a rollercoaster, playing against a tough team, taking a test… there can be so many times when we might feel worry, anxiety, and stress about a task or experience that’s in front of us. “Beating heart, twisting stomach, dry mouth, sweaty skin…” These are bodily symptoms of being nervous and stressed, but they’re also symptoms of excitement.

In this clip from The Truth About…, Fiona Phillips faces her zip-lining fears with the help of a power pose and these three words: “I feel excited!” Neuroscientist Ian Robertson explains the trick behind these perception-changing actions: Rather than trying to become calm—the opposite of anxious—it’s much easier to reframe nervous feelings as positive energy.

Further reading: Can Three Words Turn Anxiety Into Success?

Next: Telegraph Line (Nervous System), The Uses of Envy, How To Stop Yourself Being Ticklish, and The psychology behind ‘Us vs Them’.

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