If you are feeling anxious, getting excited will help more than trying to calm yourself down, a new study has found.
Researchers at Harvard University conducted several experiments looking at how excitement affects activities that trigger anxiety.
One experiment asked 140 people to prepare a public speech. They were told the speeches would be recorded and judged. The participants were then told to either say "I am excited" or "I am calm" before giving the speech.
Those who said they were excited gave longer speeches that were more persuasive, competent and relaxed.
"When people feel anxious and try to calm down, they are thinking about all the things that could go badly," study author Alison Wood Brooks said in a press release. "Even if they don't believe it at first, saying 'I'm excited' out loud increases authentic feelings of excitement."
The study was published online in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.