A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology argues that performance anxiety is best dealt with by labeling it as ‘excitement’.
The study counteracts the long-held view that those with high-levels of anxiety should be told to ‘calm down’.
According to the study, by framing anxiety as excitement, sufferers can ride the wave of internal adrenaline rather than struggle to suppress it.
The study reads:
“Compared with those who attempt to calm down, individuals who reappraise their anxious arousal as excitement feel more excited and perform better.
“Individuals can reappraise anxiety as excitement using minimal strategies such as self-talk (e.g. “I am excited”…“get excited”), which lead them to feel more excited and adopt an opportunity mindset (as opposed to a threat mindset), and improve their subsequent performance.”