Feeling nervous? Don’t bother calming down. You’re better off getting excited, according to a new study from Harvard Business School.
Participants in several anxiety-inducing experiments consistently performed better when prompted to get excited rather than to relax, the study found. For example, people told to say “I am excited” before delivering a public speech gave longer, more competent presentations and appeared more relaxed than speakers told to say “I am calm.” The shift from anxiety to excitement may be eased by the fact that both are highly aroused states, suggested the author of the study, published in The Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
From The New York Times, January 3, 2014