Usually if my friends are going, I'll make up any excuse not to go.
But I'm about to do it now to test out research about a really easy way to get over your anxiety.
Most people say you should take a deep breath and calm down.
But that might be exactly the wrong thing to do.
Instead you might want to try saying three little words to yourself.
I am excited.
In these studies we had people say, "I'm excited."
And when people said that, when they reappraised their anxiety as excitement, they actually gave better public speeches, they sang better in our karaoke lounge, and they did better on math tests.
It sounds too simple to be true, but what you're really doing is getting yourself out of a threat mindset, where you're focused on all the things that could go wrong, and into an opportunity mindset, where you're thinking about all the good things that could happen if you do well.
They weren't actually less anxious, right?
They just did better.
So, anxiety, the arousal stays high, and you stay in that high arousal state, and just flip from negative to positive, from anxiety to excitement.
The reason is, anxiety and excitement have a lot more in common than you might think.
They're both aroused emotions.
In both, the heart beats faster, cortisol surges, and the body prepares for action.
It's much easier to get from anxiety to excitement, than it is from anxiety to calm.
In Brooks' study, after saying, "I'm excited," people sang 17 percent better, were 17 percent more persuasive at speaking, and did 22 percent better on a math test than people who said nothing or tried to remain calm.
And why did you pick, "Don't Stop Believin'"?
It's the 21st most downloaded song on iTunes ever.
It's not a particularly easy song to sing.
So we wanted it to be just hard enough that it would make people feel anxious.
How are you feeling?
I am excited.
I tested out the study's findings at this bar.
We couldn't use the actual song so here's some other music instead.
We were really good though, I promise.
Give it up to the ladies!
We killed it!
No, it was good, it was good, and I think the excitement helped.
I think, if you're afraid, you should just say you're excited.
Because it will make you, at the very least, it won't change your fear, it can only have a positive effect.