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September 27, 2018

Turn Nervousness Into Excitement

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When something big is about to happen, we all get that same feeling. Your throat starts to close up, your face starts to get red, you start to feel yourself sweat. This is a very natural physiological response, but it can also be very persuasive.

Our brain is affected by our body by something that is called “bottom-up processing”.  Essentially, your brain decides how it should feel based on what your body is communicating via physiological changes. Don’t let your brain get hijacked, and use this small mental shift to be in control of your perception.

Turn nervousness into excitement. The tight throat, warm face sensation I was describing earlier is the culprit here that we want to break down. Nervousness and excitement produce a very similar state of physiological arousal that includes these features because your sympathetic nervous system is activated and preparing you for activity. This means your brain needs to decide which one to feel, and I think we all can tell one is better than the other.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but your brain responds to self-talk. The next time you are in a nervous-excitement moment, start reciting exciting affirmations, like “I have been looking forward to this” and “I am glad that I am here”.  This will help your excitement to win the tug-of-war against your nervousness and be more confident in the situation.  Give it a try the next time this situation presents itself and your brain will listen.

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