Turn your anxiety into excitement

Fear and exhilaration are two faces of the same coin. Life coach Reshma Kalwani suggests how you can replace fright with delight with just a simple mental switch

Fear scares people. That’s what it is supposed to do. Either you’re afraid of the consequences of something you did or you imagine the worst case scenario. There will be a time when you face difficult situations — your husband does something unpredictable or you are fired or your mother is unwell. In such scenarios, our natural tendency is to fight the fear and anxiety, dwell in it further, or try to find some quick calming solution.

Anxiety and excitement are equal

Anxiety and excitement are, in reality, equivalent physiological states for our body. Both are ‘aroused states’. Your mind can switch between anxiety and excitement more easily than between feeling anxious and calm. You can quickly remove the fear factor and be in control. A state of calm will follow naturally.

Anxiety is almost always triggered by bodily sensations: your heart starts pounding, you feel dizzy or your body shivers. This initial reaction happens in a split second. It is almost impossible to control these bodily reactions, but by being aware of what is happening, you can stop reacting and choose a new response.

Witness what’s on
Instead of resisting fear, try and observe yourself as a witness. Monitor what’s going on in your body and mind and detach from what is happening outside no matter how serious the situation is. Do not fight or resist sensations of fear and anxiety. These sensations will not harm you; befriend them. They are a part of you. Do not see them as an enemy – they are your guides. Give the feeling a name; if you can’t think of anything, call it ‘anxiety’. Tell yourself ‘I am feeling anxious’. Understand what is happening in your body and mind.

Encourage anxiety by saying, ‘I choose to feel excited now.’ Get excited, and ask yourself what is exciting about this situation? Push the energy out and run with it. You can compare it to a thrilling roller coaster ride of which you are a willing participant. Soon you will find that you are back in a position of control. Change your focus on what could go right instead of wrong. Choose excitement if not calm; feel alive at all times.

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