How to Turn Anxiety into Excitement
When I was in acting class many years ago in London, one of the major tools I learned—and there were many, acting was an amazing teacher—was how to channel nervousness into excitement.
When I do any sort of public speaking these days, I don’t get nervous.
I get excited.
If you think about it, the two feel very much the same: the butterflies in your stomach, the tingling in your groin (uh, well, my groin tingles), the shortness of breath, the feeling like your head may explode.
Hey wait, doesn’t this also sound like an orgasm?
Yes, but we’ll get to that later.
It’s a very fine line between anxiety and excitement. (And, apparently, orgasm).
When I’m excited, I’m wild about the possibilities. I’m stepping into the unknown. I’m going full-speed ahead. I’m not stopping to care or worry or think about things going wrong.
I don’t have time for that! I have places to go, things to do, universes to conquer.
The difference to me between the two, is that when I’m in anxiety, I’m focused on? “What if things go wrong?” I’m taking a step back from life, from success, from fully showing up.
It’s a subtle shift between the two. If we were to place anxiety and fear on a scale, they’d be awfully close together. Here’s how to change your focus:
1) Don’t think, just get into action. Don’t give your mind even a moment to go stray off. Give it something to do. Focus it on a task. Be of service. Channel your gifts into something powerful.
For me, the salvation lies in the writing. A lot of my work involves writing. So I write. And I write hard. When I come out the other side, I have found my center and strength again.
2) Know the things that restore you to your center. Do them.
I also find salvation in yoga. And the forest. And in The 4-Hour Orgasm. I do at least one of these things each day.
3) Speaking of which, have an orgasm. Yes, this is my advice. (I know you’re not surprised). When you orgasm, you flood your system with oxytocin. Oxytocin immediately reduces cortisol, which is a major stress hormone.
Orgasm is one of the biggest resets of your autonomic nervous system. It can shift you out of your negative train of thought. Just remember to breathe (see The 4-Hour Orgasm).
4) Consciously think about the fear/anxiety/excitement scale. Choose to move yourself over just a notch (usually that’s all it is) from anxiety to excitement.
If you were excited about this thing, if everything could truly go right, how would you feel? What would it look like? Stay there.
4) Talk it out. Get on the phone with someone and get your anxiety out in the open. If it festers in you, it grows bigger. Nip it in the bud, out yourself and let saner minds help you through it.
5) And get into motion. (Item 1 again, because it’s important).
Something else we were taught in acting school is that your audience wants you to succeed. No one wants to see you fail. No one came, paid their money and wanted you to mess it up. Your audience (your life companions, the other ‘actors’ in your personal show), are all rooting for you.
Now go knock it out of the park.
Image: The Girl from Atlantis by Sølve Sundsbø