Do you experience anxiety and panic? When you do, is it a positive experience? Do you experience fear? If so, does it get you all excited?
Anxiety/panic is an experience everyone tries to avoid and run from. Our instinct is to fight against the feeling and find some way to end it quickly so that we can return to feeling calm and safe.
Wouldn’t it be great if instead to turn anxiety into excitement, rather than turning anxiety into a state of calm? And do it easier and quicker? This is absolutely possible because being anxious and excited are actually the same physiological states for your body (the aroused state). It’s just how your mind reacts to this state that determines the emotion you feel.
Let’s use the example of a panic attack. A panic attack is almost always triggered by bodily sensations. Maybe your heart starts pounding or your chest feels tight. Maybe you feel dizzy or your body shakes. You know very well when its about to kick off and in a split second your mind reacts with fear to these bodily sensations. “Oh no. Here we go again. I am going to have a panic attack. I might lose control. I might die.”
That initial reaction is so split second and many find it difficult to control. At least now you are aware of what is happening. NOW is your moment to stop reacting and to choose a new response. Instead of reacting with resistance and fear to the sensations, you are going to respond with curiosity and excitement.
Here are the actual steps you can take so that you can quickly move from fear to excitement:
1. Do not fight or resist the bodily sensations. (Remember, you are safe and these sensations will not harm you)
2. Befriend the sensations and anxiety you feel. Do not see it as your enemy… See it as your guide.
3. Embrace the sensations fully and observe them with a compassionate curiosity.
4. Now PLAY with the sensations. Encourage the bodily sensations to intensify. Get excited by this heightened state of arousal. Push the energy out and run with it. Let your heart pound. Let your chest feel tighten. Let your mind race. Let your body shake. Do not attempt to control it. Experience it fully and feel really excited and alive because of it.
By taking the above steps you are doing something radically different. You are no longer resisting but embracing and moving with the experience. This movement is one of pure excitement as you ride the wave of fear… instead of letting it toss you around.
Enjoy it, be excited by it, and don’t resist it. Turn your fear into excitement and enjoy the ride.